Couple of Laundress's Aprons
Marcel Duchamp (French, 1887-1968)
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.


  • Artist Name: Marcel Duchamp (French, 1887-1968)
  • Title: Couple of Laundress's Aprons
  • Date: 1959
  • Medium: Fabric and fur suspended in glass and wood frame
  • Edition: Edition of 20
  • Dimensions: 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: P.1963.48
  • Copyright: © 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

Object Information

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


  • Milan, Gallery Schwarz, 1960 to 1960


  • New York, Alan Gallery, 1963-01 to 1963-01

Duchamp's Leg

  • Minneapolis, Walker Art Center, 1994-11-04 to 1995-02-26
  • Miami, Center for the Fine Arts, 1995-12-03 to 1996-03-03

Marcel Duchamp Redux

  • Norton Simon Museum, 2008-04-25 to 2008-12-08

Impossible Realities: Marcel Duchamp and the Surrealist Tradition

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1991-07-04 to 1992-03-08

Marcel Duchamp Festival

  • Irvine, University of California Irivine, Art Gallery, 1970-11-06 to 1971-12-01

Marcel Duchamp: A Retrospective Exhibition

  • Pasadena Art Museum, 1963-10-08 to 1963-11-03

Pasadena to Santa Barbara: A Selected History of Art in Southern California, 1951-1969

  • Santa Barbara Museum of Art, 2012-02-11 to 2012-05-06

Duchamp to Pop

  • Norton Simon Museum, 2016-03-04 to 2016-08-29
  • Joyce, Julie et al., Pasadena to Santa Barbara: A Selected History of Art in Southern California, 1951-1969, 2012, p. 119

Additional Artwork by Artist

Bottle Dryer (Bottlerack) Marcel Duchamp 1963 (replica of 1914 original)
Boîte alerte (Mailbox) Marcel Duchamp 1959
Boîte-en-valise (Box in a Suitcase) Marcel Duchamp 1961 (original 1941)

Image reproduction permission may be granted for scholarly or arts related commercial use. All image requests, regardless of their intended purpose, should be submitted via the reproduction request form.

Images may be protected by copyright and other intellectual property rights. Additional permission may be required.

Approved requests for the reproduction of an image will receive a contract detailing all fees and conditions of use of the image. Upon receipt of both the signed contract and full payment, the Office of Rights and Reproductions will provide the image. A complimentary copy of the published material must be provided to the Norton Simon Museum.

Reproduction Request Form