Marcel Duchamp: Fountain Scandal at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Marcel Duchamp, Fountain 1950. Porcelain urinal, 12 x 15 x 18 inches .Image: Philadelphia Museum of Art

Fountain, a readymade sculpture by Marcel Duchamp on display at the Philadelphia Museum of Art examines the career of the controversial artist and his readymades.


Marcel Duchamp and the Fountain Scandal, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, provides art lovers the opportunity to learn about the controversial piece and other readymades.

PHILADELPHIA- In celebration of the centennial of  Marcel Duchamp’s  Fountain, the Philadelphia Museum of Art is providing art lovers with the opportunity to learn about the controversial piece. When Marcel Duchamp created  Fountain one hundred years ago, it was provocative. In spite of all the controversies, however, Fountain was an influential work that changed the course of modern art. Marcel Duchamp created the piece in the spring of 1917.

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After buying a urinal from the New York showroom of the J. L. Mott Iron Works, Duchamp signing it “R. Mutt,” and anonymously submits it as Fountain to an exhibition organized by the Society of Independent Artists.  He described the  Fountain as Readymade. The Society of Independent Artists rejected the piece. It, however, became the center controversy when photographs of the Fountain was featured in The Blind Man, an avant-garde magazine published by Duchamp and his friends

Marcel Duchamp and the Fountain Scandal includes period photographs, publications. Also on display are more of the artist’s readymades from the museum’s unrivaled Marcel Duchamp collection. Duchamp’s readymades are mass-produced objects that the artist chose, signed, and sometimes inscribed with mysterious phrases.

Marcel Duchamp, Nude Descending a Staircase (No. 2) 1912. Oil on canvas, 57 7/8 x 35 1/8 inches. Image: Philadelphia Museum of Art

Marcel Duchamp and the Fountain ScandalApril 1, 2017 – December 3, 2017, at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, 2600 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy, Philadelphia, PA 19130

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