San Francisco; [New York]: [Acme Newspictures Inc.; N.E.A.], 1939 (06), 23,4×14,8 cm [full sheet]. Rare original photograph of Marcel Duchamp’s piece Nude Descending a Staircase (No. 2), shot at the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco in June of 1939 mistitled as “Nudes Descend A Staircase No. I”. Verso, pasted label reads “There are two different schools of thought regarding staircase descending nudes at the Golden Gate International Exposition in San Francisco Bay. In the famous fine arts palace display, here is Marcel Duchamp’s futuristic painting, “Nudes descending the staircase”, which is a controversial attraction”. Dated 6/14/39. Also verso agency and archive stamps, along with newer small archive label.
Interesting document, showcasing the ambivalent, naive stance of the public regarding Duchamp’s work. The confusion infused and the plethora of title variations – notable is the absence of the correct one – makes for an intricate play in a humorous Duchampian vein.