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Breton’s surrealist collection constitutes a twentieth-century cabinet of curiosity that like its baroque predecessors, sought to encompass the world within a contained and concentrated space. This essay argues what makes

Breton’s surrealist collection constitutes a twentieth-century cabinet of curiosity that like its baroque predecessors, sought to encompass the world within a contained and concentrated space. This essay argues what makes it a surrealist collection, lies in its ghostliness, its cultivation of a global aesthetic informed by a curiosity about psychological depth. This surrealist collecting sensibility persists in New World collections like the Menil Collection in Houston, which is similarly characterized by ghostliness.

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