Box #53

A work made of multi-colored yarn, stuffed birds, glass, plastic beads, tape measure, natural crystal, and metal ore.

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  • A work made of multi-colored yarn, stuffed birds, glass, plastic beads, tape measure, natural crystal, and metal ore.

Date:

1966

Artist:

Lucas Samaras
American, born Greece, 1936

About this artwork

At the beginning of his career, Lucas Samaras—who is often linked with the junk or assemblage artists of the late 1950s and early 1960s—transformed a large number of found and purchased boxes into glittering, fantastic, and often menacing objects. First conceived in 1962, Box #53 belongs to a group of custom-made, yarn-covered boxes that incorporate stuffed birds. When the box is opened, a tape measure audibly calculates the height of the nine-inch opening. Inside are four compartments, one of which features a crystal encrusted rock. Box #53 embodies a number of implied contrasts: nature’s brilliantly hued birds and the man-made, colored yarn; the container’s relatively modest interior and its flamboyant exterior; and the muted rock and noisy measuring device. “I’m never interested in ambiguous response,” the artist said. “Rather a positive negative … touch or not touch, the quality of seducing-repelling.”

Currently Off View

Contemporary Art

Artist

Lucas Samaras

Title

Box #53

Origin

United States

Date

1966

Medium

Multi-colored yarn, stuffed birds, glass, plastic beads, tape measure, natural crystal, and metal ore

Dimensions

13 x 15 x 14 in. (33 x 38.1 x 35.6 cm) (closed) 5 x 12 x 9 in. (box itself)

Credit Line

Gift of Fred Mueller

Reference Number

1971.778

Extended information about this artwork

Object information is a work in progress and may be updated as new research findings emerge. To help improve this record, please email .

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