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Sweeney, James Johnson. Notes from conversation with Marcel Duchamp. Typescript. 3 pages, 1947 March

 File — Box: 3, Folder: 23

Scope and Contents

From the Series:

Transcripts of interviews with Duchamp by Richard Hamilton, Katharine Kuh, James Johnson Sweeney, and others. The bulk of the series is comprised of Sweeney's abbreviated, and at times cryptic, notes from several conversations he had with Duchamp in 1945. Topics covered in the interviews include, in approximate order of predominance: Duchamp's artistic intentions for the creation of the Readymades; his work on "The Large Glass" and associated notes; his thoughts concerning the reception and impact of "Nude Descending a Staircase;" and his early life and the influence of his brothers, Jacques Villon and Raymond Duchamp-Villon. He also responds to questions concerning his lasting influence on the art world, the role of chance in his work, his definition of retinal art, and the role of the art onlooker in the completion of a work. Other Duchamp works, specifically "Three Stoppages" and "The King and Queen Surrounded by Swift Nudes" and many other topics are also discussed briefly.


  • 1947 March

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


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