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Jan Matulka
Arrangement with Phonograph, Mask, and Shell
about 1930
30 3/8 x 35 1/4 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum

Jan Matulka's tabletop still life is thoroughly modern, its unconventional components presented as patterned abstractions. A shell's chamber and a phonograph's technology both embody the mysteries of creating sound. No less intriguing is the mask, a universal symbol of artistic transformation.