Man Ray (American, 1890–1976)
Gelatin silver print
9 7/16 x 12 in. (23.9 x 30.4 cm)
Purchase, Photography in the Fine Arts Gift, 1969 (69.521)
One of Duchamp's close friends and a member of the New York Dada scene, the American photographer and painter Man Ray (18901976) was also one of Duchamp's collaborators. His photograph Dust Breeding (Duchamp's Large Glass with Dust Notes) from 1920 is a document of The Large Glass after it had collected a year's worth of dust while Duchamp was in New York. The photograph was taken with a two-hour-long exposure that beautifully captures the complex texture and diversity of materials that lay atop the glass surface. Dust Breeding marks a pivotal phase in the development of Duchamp's masterpiece. After the photograph was taken, Duchamp wiped The Large Glass almost entirely clean, leaving a section of the cones covered with dust, which he permanently affixed to the glass plate with a diluted cement.