Bottle Dryer (Bottlerack)
1963 (replica of 1914 original)
Marcel Duchamp (French, 1887-1968)
On View

In 1914, Marcel Duchamp purchased a bottle dryer from a department store in Paris, signed it and presented it as an original sculpture. Calling this new type of artwork a “readymade,” he claimed that any “ordinary object [could be] elevated to the dignity of a work of art by the mere choice of an artist.” From shovels to hat racks and even urinals, Duchamp’s readymades emphasize the underlying formal qualities of everyday objects and challenge longstanding definitions of art, authenticity and authorship. With its flared base and iron hoops, this Bottle Dryer, a replica of the 1914 version, might echo the shape of a skirt or a miniature Eiffel Tower. It may even carry provocative or erotic undertones, a frequent feature of the artist’s work. Duchamp upended hierarchies between the mundane, commercial and unique throughout his career, widening the landscape for subsequent Pop, Conceptual and Performance Art movements.


  • Artist Name: Marcel Duchamp (French, 1887-1968)
  • Title: Bottle Dryer (Bottlerack)
  • Date: 1963 (replica of 1914 original)
  • Medium: Readymade bottle-dryer of galvanized iron
  • Dimensions: overall: 29-1/4 x 16 x 16 in. (74.3 x 40.6 x 40.6 cm)
  • Credit Line: Norton Simon Museum, Gift of Mr. Irving Blum, in memory of the Artist
  • Accession Number: P.1968.28
  • Copyright: © Association Marcel Duchamp / ADAGP, Paris / Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York

Object Information

Irving Blum, 1968 gift in memory of the artist, to;
Pasadena Art Museum, Pasadena, 1968-1975;
Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena.

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

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

Recent Acquisitions, 1969

  • Pasadena Art Museum, 1969-11-24 to 1970-01-18

Marcel Duchamp: A Retrospective Exhibition

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

Marcel Duchamp Redux

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

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

Lost but Found: Assemblage, Collage and Sculpture, 1920-2002

  • Norton Simon Museum, 2004-11-05 to 2005-03-28

Duchamp to Pop

  • Norton Simon Museum, 2016-03-04 to 2016-08-29

Radical Past: Contemporary Art and Music in Pasadena, 1960-1974

  • Norton Simon Museum, 1999-02-07 to 1999-06-06
  • Armory Center for the Arts, 1999-02-07 to 1999-04-11
  • Art Center College of Design (Pasadena, Calif.), 1999-02-07 to 1999-04-25

Permanent and Loan Collection, 1973

  • Pasadena Museum of Modern Art, 1973-01-30 to 1973-12-31
  • Ehmcke, Franziska, Der japanische Tee-Weg. Bewßtseinsschulung und Gesamtkunstwerk, 1991, no. 89 p. 192
  • Herausgegeben von Eric Erfurth, Marcel Duchamp-Flaschentrockner Doxographie, 1997, no. 4 pp. 36-37
  • Armory Center for the Arts/Art Center College of Design, Radical Past: Contemporary Art & Music in Pasadena, 1960-1974, 1999, p. 81
  • Joseph Masheck, Marcel Duchamp in Perspective, 2002, fig. 16 p. 21
  • Nancy Troy, Couture Culture: Paul Poiret, Modern Art and the Marketing of Fashion, 2002, fig. 4.2 pp. 284-285
  • Graham, Lanier, Duchamp and Androgyny, 2003, fig. 23 p. 39
  • Joyce, Julie et al., Pasadena to Santa Barbara: A Selected History of Art in Southern California, 1951-1969, 2012, p. 120
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Additional Artwork by Artist

Boîte alerte (Mailbox) Marcel Duchamp 1959
Boîte-en-valise (Box in a Suitcase) Marcel Duchamp 1961 (original 1941)
Couple of Laundress's Aprons Marcel Duchamp 1959

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