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Air de Paris (50 cc of Paris Air)

Artist Marcel Duchamp (French, 1887–1968)
Title Air de Paris (50 cc of Paris Air)
Date 1964 edition (after 1919 original)
Medium Glass ampule
Dimensions Overall: 12 5/16 x 7 5/16 x 6 in. (31.3 x 18.6 x 15.2 cm)
Credit Line Partial Gift of Mrs. William H. Conroy, Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University
Accession Number 71.37.11

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About this Work

In 1919, Duchamp purchased a glass vial from a Paris pharmacy as a gift for his friend Walter Arensberg, telling him it contained 50 cubic centimeters of „Paris air.“ Despite the work’s poetic sensibility, it also reflects Duchamp’s interest in the arbitrariness of units of measurement. In fact, the ampule holds more than twice the volume Duchamp inscribed on it.

Provenance research is ongoing for this and many other items in the Eskenazi Museum of Art permanent collection. For more information about the provenance of this artwork, please contact the department curator with specific questions.

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"Air de Paris (50 cc of Paris Air) | Collections Online." Collections Online. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, 2023.