Couple of Laundress's Aprons

Marcel Duchamp (French, 1887-1968)
Fabric and fur suspended in glass and wood frame, Edition of 20 
overall: 14 x 20-7/8 x 1-3/8 in. (35.6 x 53.0 x 3.5 cm) 
Credit Line:
Norton Simon Museum, Museum Purchase 
Accession Number:
© 2015 Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Succession Marcel Duchamp Reproduction, including downloading of ARS works is prohibited by copyright laws and international conventions without the express written permission of Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York 
Not on View

Potholders suggest meal preparation as well as other domestic duties or traditional female activities. Duchamp altered these feminized objects in the middle and inserted overtly sexual references to establish separate gender identifications for both. Potholders such as these two were included in the deluxe edition of Boîte Alerte, the box that Duchamp designed as a supra-catalogue for the 1959 International Surrealist Exhibition in Paris. The two rectified readymades fit decidedly within the theme of that exhibition, "EROS," referring to the Greek god of love and sexual desire.


Everett Ellin Gallery, Los Angeles, sold 1963 to;
Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena, 1963-1975
Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena, 1975.

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