Objects: Rotary Glass Plates



Rotary Glass Plates (Precision Optics)
formerly titled as, Revolving Glass Machine

1920

Artist: Marcel Duchamp
French, 1887 - 1968

165.7 x 157.5 x 96.5 cm (65 1/4 x 62 x 38 in. )

Painted glass and iron with electric motor

Gift of the Collection Société Anonyme

Object No. 1941.446a-c

 


1941.446a-c
Monday, December 12, 2005


Department: Modern and Contemporary Art
English translation: Rotary Glass Plates (Precision Optics) formerly titled as, Revolving Glass Machine
Foreign title: Appareil Rotatif (Optique de Precision)
Foreign title: Rotative Plaque Verre (Optique de Precision)
Classification: Sculpture
Artist: Artist Marcel Duchamp, French, 1887 - 1968
Label Text: Rotary Glass Plates is a motorized device that demonstrates the continuity of visual impressions. Its five glass blades and (portions of the support) are painted so that when set in motion and viewed head-on, the machine forms concentric circles on a single plane. For about eight years before constructing this apparatus, Duchamp had been reading various treatises on mathematics and perceptions, and a number of his art works dealt with rotating machines. Rotary Glass Plates was the first actual machine that Duchamp made in his quest for a new world that would no longer separate art from idea.
Date Label: 1920
Culture: French
Period: 20th century
Medium: Painted glass and iron with electric motor
Description: Five glass plates painted with segments of black and white circles, turning on a metal axis powered by an electric motor, supported by a frame of metal and wood 166.3 cm to top of largest blade, posed vertically; 117.8 cm to top surface of axial shaft; largest glass blade: 14.2 x 99.3 cm; wooden base at floor; 120.8 x 145.8 cm
Dimensions: 165.7 x 157.5 x 96.5 cm (65 1/4 x 62 x 38 in. )
Inscription(s): Inscribed in paint on front of foremost support crossbar, below aapex: AV DEV; stenciled on wood above the engine: AR
Notes: S.A. 1; B.5; lived in America
Provenance: Societe Anonyme Collection
Curatorial Remarks: Registrar note for dims:
65.25 inches = 5 foot, 5 1/4 inches
62 inches = 5 foot, 2 inches
38 inches = 3 foot, 2 inches
Image: 1941'446~13
Video: 1941'446movie
Image: 1941'446~05
Image: 1941'446~06
Image: 1941'446~07
Transparency 5x7 color: A; Color
Transparency 8x10 color: CT; Color
Transparency 5x7 color: Master; Color
Transparency 5x7 color: Master 1; Color
Transparency 5x7 color: Master 2; Color
Negative 5x7 BxW: 1941'446~10
Negative 8x10 BxW: 1941'446~11
Image: 1941'446~08
Exhibition History: New York, NY, Museum of Modern Art, "Fantastic Art, Dada, Surrealism," 7 Dec. 1936 - 17 Jan. 1937, no. 222; Springfield, MA, George Walter Vincent Smith Art Gallery, "Some New Forms of Beauty 1909-1936: A Selection of the Collection of the Societe Anonyme: Museum of Modern Art: 1920," 9 Nov. - 17 Dec. 1939, no. 15, traveled to Hartford, CT, Wadsworth Atheneum, 4 Jan. - 4 Feb. 1940; New Haven, CT, Yale University Art Gallery, "Modern Art from the Collection of the Societe Anonyme: Museum of Modern Art: 1920," 14 Jan. - 22 Feb. 1942; New Haven, CT, Yale University Art Gallery, "Duchamp, Duchamp-Villon, Villon," 1 Mar. - 1 Apr. 1945, no. 32; New Haven, Yale University Art Gallery, "An Exhibition of Painting and Sculpture by the Directors of the Societe Anonyme Since Its Foundation: 1920 - 1948, 6 Mar. - 11 Apr. 1948, no. 34; New York, NY, Museum of Modern Art, "Dada, Surrealism, and Their Heritage," 27 Mar. - 9 June, 1968, no. 86, did not travel; New York, NY, Museum of Modern Art, "The Machine as Seen at the End of the Mechanical Age," 25 Nov. 1968 - 9 Feb. 1969; Philadelphia, PA, Philadelphia Museum of Art, "Marcel Duchamp," 22 Sept. - 11 Nov. 1973, no. 135, traveled to New York, NY, Museum of Modern Art, 3 Dec. 1973 - 10 Feb. 1974, then to Chicago, IL, Art Institute of Chicago, 9 Mar. - 21 Apr. 1974; New Haven, CT, Yale University Art Gallery, "Art For a New Era: The Collection of the Societe Anonyme, 1920 - 1950," 25 Apr. - 26 Aug. 1984.
Published References: S.A. 1984 Cat. no. 234
Alternate Numbers: 1941.446
Credit Line: Gift of the Collection Société Anonyme