Of all the readymades Dadaist Marcel Duchamp created during his career, none is quite as memorable as his 1917 creation, The Fountain. Crafted from a repurposed industrially produced ceramic urinal, Duchamp "transformed" the work into a sculptural submission to the Society of Independent Artists show of that year. The backlash was immediate and brutal, but at the core of Duchamp's work was a more profound examination of the role of art in the modern world.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art renews the examination of this pivotal piece in its new exhibition, "Marcel Duchamp and The Fountain Scandal" (June – September 2017). Tracing the evolution of the original work from its inception to the aftermath of its debut – including its feature in photographer Alfred Stieglitz's Blind Man magazine before The Fountain's eventual destruction – this exhibition rekindles the debate over the meaning and message that Duchamp hoped to invest in this unusual and unique work.