Joseph Cornell, "They Say the Owl is a Baker's Daughter" Ophelia, 1971, collage with ink and pencil on paperboard, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Gift of The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, 1991.155.335
Sometimes the image suggested an association from which Cornell derived a title for the work and sometimes he appears to have had a subject in mind before making the image. “They say the owl is a baker’s daughter” is one of Ophelia’s lines in Shakespeare’s Hamlet. It refers to a popular legend in which Christ transforms a baker’s daughter into an owl after she has denied him a piece of bread. The owl, also a symbol of night, death, and virginity, often appears in Cornell’s work.
Abstract Drawings, 2012
"They Say the Owl is a Baker's Daughter" Ophelia
- On View
- Not on view.
12 in. x 9 1/8 in. (30.6 x 23.2 cm)
- Credit Line
Smithsonian American Art Museum
Gift of The Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation
- Mediums Description
- collage with ink and pencil on paperboard
- Object Number
- Linked Open Data
- Linked Open Data URI