Marcel Duchamp described his Boîte-en-valise (Box in a Valise)
as a "portable museum" that would allow him to carry around his life's work in a traveling box. The artist spent five years, between 1935 and 1940, recreating his oeuvre in miniature through photographs, hand-colored reproductions, and diminutive models. These facsimiles of the artist's major paintings, drawings, and sculpture were then placed in imitation-leather boxes or valises that he would spend the rest of his life assembling. Duchamp's most significant works are cleverly arranged inside each box like a traveling salesman's wares; open the lid and you find a treasure trove of art objects all reproduced on a miniature scale. The Hood Museum of Art recently acquired an important example of the Box in a Valise edition. This work, which the artist housed in a red linen-lined box about the size of a large attaché case, will be shown at Dartmouth College for the first time in this installation.
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