RSS Twitter iCal - Members: Login or Register Search

February 27, 2010, 2:30 PM

Joseph Cornell's Flushing Meadows: A Work of Art and Mourning

Film Screening and Roundtable
Participants: Eric Edelman, Anne Morra, Susan Scheftel, Martin Wilner

This roundtable will examine how art can be an expression of mourning and a way to pass beyond it, using as a starting point a little-known work by Joseph Cornell. Flushing Meadows is a short film Cornell made in 1965 in the aftermath of the murder of Joyce Hunter. Cornell met Hunter when she worked in a coffee shop the artist used to frequent near the New York Public Library. Cornell was infatuated with Hunter, and pursued their friendship even after she was arrested for stealing a number of his famous boxes during a visit to his house. Strange and chimerical as their relationship may have seemed to others, Cornell's grief at her death was great, as Flushing Meadows attests. The film, which was thought lost until 1990, will have a rare screening in advance of the discussion, along with Cornell's early masterpiece, Rose Hobart, which Salvador Dalí reportedly accused Cornell of stealing from his dreams. Panelists will examine the resonance of loss in the creative process, both in the work of Cornell and among artists as a whole.

Eric Edelman is a collagist and found-object sculptor living in New York City. He has exhibited at the Williamsburg Art & Historical Center, the American Museum of Natural History, the National Arts Club, Long Island University, and various private galleries. His work is represented in several private and institutional collections and has appeared in the books The Art of the Miniature and Genius in a Bottle, as well as the monograph Eric Edelman: Collages of the Unconscious. He draws material for artwork from his personal collections, which include wood engravings, shells, bones, compasses, wooden shapes, porcelain doll parts, game pieces, machine parts, bottles, pins, toys, and pentagonal objects.

Anne Morra is Associate Curator in The Museum of Modern Art's Department of Film. Ms. Morra has organized numerous film exhibitions, including Made at MoMA, the inaugural film program to mark the opening of the renovated and expanded Museum. She curated the film component of Dalí: Painting and Film, recipient of the second place award for Best Monographic Museum Show Nationally from AICA/USA in 2008. Select film exhibitions include: To Save and Project: The MoMA International Festival of Film Preservation (co-curator); Happy Birthday, Joseph Cornell!; A View from the Vaults: New Acquisitions; 112 Years of Cinema; Maysles Films: Five Decades; Dada on Film; and A Sense of Where You Are: Films from the Collection. Morra is active in film education and co-organizes Friday Night at the Movies for MoMA's high school film audience and the Watch This! Films for Tweens series. She is a member of the Education Committee of the Association of Moving Image Archivists (AMIA), The Women's Film Preservation Fund (WFPF), and the editorial board of the The Moving Image.

Susan Scheftel is a clinical psychologist and child analyst in private practice in New York. She is the first "child only" graduate of the Columbia Psychoanalytic Center. Scheftel is now on the faculty at Columbia and at the Columbia Parent Infant Program. She is interested in creativity and childhood. Her paper "The Cosmic Child: the Artwork of Joseph Cornell and a Type of Unusual Sensibility or Thinking Inside the Box/the Mind that Channels Infinity" will be in the next volume of The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child. A previous paper, "The Children's Books of William Steig: a Creative Representation of Early Separation and Resiliency," was also published in The Psychoanalytic Study of the Child.

Martin Wilner is an artist living and working in New York City. His current solo exhibition, A Life in Days, is on view at Sperone Westwater in New York through March 20. His one-person exhibition at Hales Gallery in London, Making History:UK, opens in April. His ongoing subway diary, Journal of Evidence Weekly will be featured in the upcoming Sienese Shredder No. 4. He is also a Clinical Assistant Professor of psychiatry at Weill Cornell Medical College and has a private practice in Manhattan.

Flushing Meadows is presented courtesy of The Museum of Modern Art.

This program is supported, in part, by public funds from the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, in partnership with the City Council.


Discussion Board

This forum allows for an ongoing discussion of the above Philoctetes event. You may use this space to share your thoughts or to pose questions for panelists. An attempt will be made to address questions during the live event or as part of a continued online dialogue.

Post a Comment

(URLs will display as links.)
If you are a Philoctetes subscriber, please log in below to post to our event discussions. Or sign up now for a free subscription so you can post to our discussions and optionally receive our email announcements and our bi-monthly newsletter.
E-mail Address:
Password: (Forgot your password?)