Baroness Elsa von Freytag Loringhoven, "God" (c. 1917)

Wood miter box; cast iron plumbing trap.

An inverted household plumbing trap mounted on a wooden miter box, this piece shares a kinship with Marcel Duchamp's readymade Fountain, a porcelain urinal turned on its side. Made collaboratively from Philadephia-born artist Morton Schamberg and German baroness Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, this construction of common, incongruous objects exemplifies the Dadaists' interest in machine imagery, while the sacrilegious title reflects the provcative irony of the movement.

The Louise and Walter Arensberg Collection, 1950. On permanent display at the Philadephia Museum of Art. Photograph taken by Al Filreis, December 2014.

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