The American sculptor, director and writer, Joseph Cornell studied at the Phillips Academy in Andover between 1917 and 1921. Inspired by the work of Max Ernst and other Surrealists, he produced his first assemblages of objects, collages and boxes. In 1932, he took part in the Exhibition of Surrealism at the Julien Levy Gallery, New York, where, in the same year, he held his first one-man show. Cornell learnt the technique of working in wood which, after 1936, became his principal working method. After giving up his job at the Traphagen Commercial Textile Studio in 1940, Cornell was able to concentrate entirely on his art as well as illustration and layout design for magazines such as Vogue and House and Garden. After the 60s, his artistic output began to lessen although he still produced various collage works. In 1967, he had a retrospective at the Pasadena Museum of Art and the Salomon R. Guggenheim Museum, in New York. In 1968 and 1972, he took part in "documenta" 4 and 5 in Kassel. The poetic and charismatic montages of everyday objects, exhibited in boxes or glass, anticipate various neo-dadaist techniques and Pop Art tendencies.