Marcel Duchamp

Couple of Laundress's Aprons

(Blainville, France, 1887 - 1968, Neuilly-sur-Seine, France)


Readymade of cloth, fur and zipper

14 x 21 in. (35.6 x 53.3 cm)

Collection of the Akron Art Museum

Gift of John Coplans

1979.9 a,b

More Information

2020 Objects to be Destroyed, Theresa Bembnister Marcel Duchamp invented the word “readymade” to describe the artworks he made from mass-produced, functional objects. Early readymades include Bicycle Wheel (1913), which consists of a bicycle fork with a wheel mounted upside down on a wooden stool; a snow shovel he suspended from the ceiling and titled In Advance of the Broken Arm (1915) and Fountain (1917), a urinal presented on its back rather than mounted upright on a wall. For Duchamp, choosing an object was a creative act that cancelled the useful function of the item, giving it new meaning. In Couple of Laundress’s Aprons Duchamp’s humorous assemblage of cloth, fur and zippers acts as the French artist’s teasing comment on what he regarded as Americans’ puritanical sensibilities concerning the body.


Signed on verso on piece of laundry tape in ink: "Marcel Duchamp 59"

Ready made
United States