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Duchamp's scandalous 'Fountain' comes to Philly

An upside-down urinal or an art piece?

"Fountain" makes art lovers think about art's definition.

Artists Rights Society (ARS), New York / ADAGP, Paris / Estate of Marcel Duchamp

The work of artist Marcel Duchamp is known to be controversial. For a century now, his artworks called “readymades” have caused many viewers to ask the question, “Is it really art?”

On April 1, 100 years after its creation, one of Duchamp’s most famous pieces, "Fountain," comes to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, bringing with it the publications and photographs from the time of its scandal.

In 1917, with the help of famous photographer Alfred Stieglitz, who photographed it for Duchamp’s magazine The Blind Man, "Fountain" began its rise to fame after being rejected by the Society of Independent Artists. Standing defiantly behind the claim that it is real, significant art, Duchamp successfully stirred up the 20th century art scene, as well as people’s opinion on what art truly is.

Whether it’s his "Bicycle Wheel," "Bottlerack" or "Comb," Duchamp has been faced with furrowed-brow scrutiny, especially by the artist community. Alongside other readymades, "Fountain" will be in Philly until Dec. 3. Don’t miss the opportunity to view this notorious piece of contemporary art and learn its story. Decide for yourself if you see an upside-down urinal or the great, conversation-starting piece Duchamp purchased, signed and made into one of his greatest achievements.

If you go:
Philadelphia Museum of Art
2600 Benjamin Franklin Parkway
On display April 1-Dec. 3
Adults $20; students $14
philamuseum.org

 

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