12:39 PM

Philadelphia Museum of Art, Centre Pompidou, and Association Marcel Duchamp Partner to Launch Online Duchamp Research Portal

A French-American Celebration


On January 24, 2022, a new digital portal—the first of its kind—will provide online access to an unprecedented aggregation of resources relating to the life and work of Marcel Duchamp (1887–1968)


Download hi-res images here.

Voir le PDF du communiqué de presse en français

The Duchamp Research Portal encompasses the entirety of the artist’s life and work in France and the United States through archival documents, correspondence, and supporting contextual images held by the major repositories of these materials. This pioneering digital platform is the outcome of a seven-year partnership between three French and American institutions. The Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA), the Association Marcel Duchamp (AMD), and the Centre Pompidou have teamed up to bring together their unique archival collections relating to Duchamp. Starting today, the Duchamp Research Portal will become a primary resource for anyone interested in studying one of the twentieth century’s greatest and most enigmatic artists.

It is accessible via a centralized interface (https://www.duchamparchives.org/) and provides free access to more than 18,000 documents and artworks comprising nearly 50,000 digitized images related to the work and life of Marcel Duchamp, his personal networks, his connections in the avant-garde art community (alliances with Cubism, Dada, and Surrealism, for example). The historical materials in the Portal will be of immense value, as well, to anyone with an interest in Duchamp’s artistic and conceptual legacy.

Among the wealth of resources available will be the vast Alexina and Marcel Duchamp Papers and Arensberg Archives at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the archival collections of the Association Marcel Duchamp, the André Breton and Constantin Brancusi collections at the Centre Pompidou, and holdings relating to major Duchamp retrospective exhibitions held in Philadelphia in 1973 and at the Centre Pompidou in 1977. The archive also contains materials linked to the development and installation of the artist’s final major work, Étant donnés 1° la chute d’eau, 2° le gaz d’éclairage (Given: 1. The Waterfall, 2. The Illuminating Gas) (1946–66).

Over the course of a career that spanned seven decades, Marcel Duchamp rebelled against conventional ways of making art, charting an entirely new course for himself as an artist. Ultimately, Duchamp came to define himself as a “respirateur,” or ”breather,” his term for someone who generates his ideas about art through the activities of everyday life. The Duchamp Research Portal will make it possible for the general public and specialists alike to explore the remarkable work and life of an iconic figure in the history of modern art who changed all the rules of the game.

Timothy Rub, The George D. Widener Director and CEO, Philadelphia Museum of Art, said: “It is with great pride and delight that we now can share this extraordinary resource with audiences online everywhere. It makes the act of discovery possible for researchers around the world who are fascinated by one of the most revolutionary artists of the past century. People are seeking richer online art experiences now more than ever, and this exceptional collaboration with our partners at the Centre Pompidou and the Association Marcel Duchamp, for which we are deeply grateful, offers a wealth of resources.”

Xavier Rey, Director of the Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Pompidou, said:

“This project was an obvious choice for us due to the extraordinary quantity of both the work and the documentation left by the artist; the context of critical thinking around Duchamp makes the portal even more foundational today. I would like to acknowledge the collaboration between the Archives Marcel Duchamp, the PMA, and the Centre Pompidou, and also warmly thank those who contributed to its accomplishment. No doubt Duchamp, the artist whom Jean Clair called the “great fictive one” (Le grand fictif) would have been pleased to find himself in a virtual world created by friends.”

Antoine Monnier, Director of the Association Marcel Duchamp, added: “Definitively unfinished, like the Large Glass at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, the Duchamp Research Portal echoes the artist’s intercontinental travels, life, friendships, artworks, love affairs and chess games. Through making these archives accessible globally, we hope that Marcel Duchamp’s idea of freedom will inspire visitors to the site and that they will remember that the artist’s life and art were one, constantly redefining borders of all kind. We are deeply thankful to both the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Centre Pompidou for their cooperation and efforts in this outstanding adventure that will certainly open new perspectives.”

The Duchamp Research Portal has been made possible in part by the National Endowment for the Humanities: Democracy demands wisdom, with additional contributions from the Gladys Krieble Delmas Foundation, Martha Hamilton Morris and I. Wistar Morris III, the Joseph and Robert Cornell Memorial Foundation, The Women’s Committee of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, and other generous donors.

Any views, findings, conclusions, or recommendations expressed in this resource do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment of the Humanities.

Project Team

At the Philadelphia Museum of Art: Timothy Rub, The George D. Widener Director and CEO; Kristen Regina, The Arcadia Director of the Library and Archives; Matthew Affron,  The Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art; Margaret Huang, The Martha Hamilton Morris Archivist; Susan Anderson Laquer, The Martha Hamilton Morris Archivist (former); Design for Context (web developers)

At the Centre Pompidou, Musée national d’art moderne: Xavier Rey, Director; Xavier Bredin, Administrator; Collections modernes: Aurélie Verdier, Curator; Cécile Debray, Curator until 2017; Anna Hiddleston, Assistant Curator; Bibliothèque Kandinsky: Sonia Descamps, Data Administrator; Aurélien Bernard, Librarian

At the Association Marcel Duchamp: † Jacqueline Matisse-Monnier (1931 - 2021), Honorary President; Antoine Monnier, Director; Séverine Gossart, Deputy Director; Héloïse Brun, Project Assistant

Marcel Duchamp at the Philadelphia Museum of Art
Duchamp assisted his primary patrons, Louise and Walter Arensberg, in negotiating the 1950 gift of their distinguished collection to the Philadelphia Museum of Art, thereby ensuring that most of his own work would remain together in a single instituti­­­on. Philadelphia has maintained a large gallery for the display of highlights from its Duchamp collection since 1969. Those highlights include: Duchamp’s early work as a painter and a member of the Cubist group in Paris; The Bride Stripped Bare by Her Bachelors, Even (The Large Glass), the magnum opus that epitomized Duchamp’s goal of shifting art from the visual to the conceptual; the “readymades,” ordinary manufactured objects that gain unexpected meanings when placed in artistic contexts; and the “erotic objects,” cast sculptures related to the formulation of Duchamp’s final major project, the gallery-sized installation Étant donnés, which is on permanent display in an adjacent gallery.

Marcel Duchamp at the Centre Pompidou
The Marcel Duchamp collection of the Musée national d’art moderne, Centre Pompidou, holds a comprehensive group of works that retrace the artist’s entire career, built up through both acquisitions and the generosity of the family. It includes major works—paintings, the autograph notes for the Green Box, several readymades, as well as the molds from the end of the 1950s. It also comprises an important collection of photographs by Man Ray, with prints and negatives relating to Duchamp and his family. Images of works by Marcel Duchamp housed at the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Centre Pompidou—an ensemble of more than 500 items—are cross-referenced within the portal to relevant documents.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is Philadelphia’s art museum. We are a world-renowned collection. A landmark building. A place that welcomes everyone. We bring the arts to life, inspiring visitors—through scholarly study and creative play—to discover the spirit of imagination that lies in everyone. We connect people with the arts in rich and varied ways, making the experience of the museum surprising, lively, and always memorable. We are committed to inviting visitors to see the world—and themselves—anew through the beauty and expressive power of the arts. For additional information, contact the Marketing and Communications Department at  pressroom@philamuseum.org. The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th Street. For general information, call 215-763-8100.
Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Tumblr/YouTube: @philamuseum

Since 1977, the Centre Pompidou has presented a rich program at the crossroads between different art forms and audiences. Its iconic building is home to one of the world’s largest collections of modern and contemporary art, in addition to exhibitions, symposiums, festivals, shows, projections, and workshops for young people, making it an unrivaled institution deeply rooted in the city and open to the world and to innovation.

Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/YouTube: @CentrePompidou

The Association Marcel Duchamp is a non-profit organization formed in 1997 by Jacqueline Matisse-Monnier (1931-2021), stepdaughter of the artist and legatee of his estate. It pursues the efforts undertaken by Marcel Duchamp's wife, Alexina "Teeny" Sattler (1906–1995), who ensured the respect of the artist's memory, and secured the protection and presentation of his artworks and archives in major public collections—starting with those of the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Musée national d’art moderne, Paris. Based in Paris, the A.M.D. preserves today a collection of archives by and/or about Marcel Duchamp, and is committed to make his work accessible to all, through support for exhibitions, loans and publications—while fostering collaboration between Duchamp enthusiasts on both sides of the Atlantic and beyond.

Press contacts
Philadelphia Museum of Art: 
Norman Keyes, nkeyes@philamuseum.org / Joy Deibert, joy.deibert@philamuseum.org
Centre Pompidou: 
Timothée Nicot, timothee.nicot@centrepompidou.fr
Association Marcel Duchamp:  


Social Media @philamuseum