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Lectures, 1949-1964, undated


Scope and Contents

Drafts and transcripts of lectures Duchamp delivered at various museums, colleges and universities between 1949 and the early 1960s about his life and work. Also includes associated correspondence, preparatory material, notes, and lists of questions with Duchamp's responses. Most, or perhaps all, of the typescripts were prepared by Alexina Duchamp.

The autobiographical lecture, "A Propos of Myself," records Duchamp's reflections upon his artistic work during his "most productive years, from 1902-1925," and includes comments about "The Large Glass" and the Readymades. Duchamp delivered the lecture in multiple locations, including the Baltimore Museum of Art and the City Art Museum of St. Louis, and revised it slightly each time. "The Creative Act," delivered at the American Federation of Arts Convention in 1957 and "Where Do We Go from Here?," delivered at the Philadelphia Museum College of Art, deal with more theoretical topics, specifically the role of the spectator in the creation of art and the future of modern art. The series includes both French and English versions of these lectures. Other topics covered in Duchamp's lectures and notes include Dada, Surrealism, Hans Richter's film "Dreams that Money Can Buy," and his abandonment of painting.


  • 1949-1964, undated

Language of Materials

From the Collection:

Predominantly in English with some material in French.

Conditions Governing Access

The collection is open for research. David Sylvester's typescript for the article "Bicycle Parts" can only be consulted with permission of the author's estate.


From the Collection: 18 linear feet


Alphabetical by location of lecture. Items without an associated location are last, and alphabetical by title.


Repository Details

Part of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Library and Archives Repository

Philadelphia Museum of Art
PO Box 7646
Philadelphia PA 19101-7646 United States