The magic happened as I watched a frail-looking Joseph Cornell, who stood very still in one corner, observe the children as they touched and explored the boxes.
Many of the boxes - like the so-called “Medici Princess”- had a drawer, which each child surreptitiously opened, peeked in, closed and then walked over to another child and whispered in his or her ear. That child promptly walked over to the box or often just any box with a drawer and then passed on the “secret.”
Within a very short time, Cornell’s initially sullen face was beaming and smiling and his whole body seemed more alive and energetic. The master conjurer of beauty in ordinary things had found his audience and their secrets floated in the air evoking pure joy in the children and apparently in the artist and a vague nostalgia and longing in the adults.
By Dr. Renata Karlin
image source here