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In Advance of the Broken Arm (In prévision du bras cassé)

A snow shovel with a wood handle and aluminum scoop.

A snow shovel with a wood handle and aluminum scoop.

Artist Marcel Duchamp (French, 1887?1968)
Title In Advance of the Broken Arm (In prévision du bras cassé)
Date 1964 edition (after 1915 original)
Medium Wood and aluminum snow shovel
Dimensions Overall: 47 3/4 x 13 7/8 x 3 1/2 in. (121.3 x 35.2 x 8.9 cm)
Credit Line Partial gift of Mrs. William H. Conroy, Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University
Accession Number 71.37.4

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About this Work

In 1915, Duchamp purchased a snow shovel, signed it, and hung it from his studio ceiling. The unusual presentation undermines the object?s traditional function, while the humorous title he selected for the readymade alludes to the physical effort involved in shoveling snow.


Provenance research is ongoing for this and many other items in the Eskenazi Museum of Art permanent collection. For more information on the provenance of European paintings, sculptures, and drawings produced before 1946, please see our Nazi-Era Provenance Research Project. For all other inquiries, please contact the department curator with specific questions.


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"In Advance of the Broken Arm | Collections Online." Collections Online. Sidney and Lois Eskenazi Museum of Art, Indiana University, 2023. https://artmuseum.indiana.edu/collections-online/browse/object.php?number=71.37.4