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“Everything important I have done, can be put in a suitcase” The Boîte-en-Valise is Marcel Duchamp’s miniature retrospective or ‘portable museum’, containing 69 reproductions of his artworks from 1910 onwards. There are over 320 versions of the work including 20 de luxe versions that were made for specific people, collectors or friends. These contain one ‘original’ signed artwork and are also held inside a leather carrying case or valise. Although there are variations between the various editions in terms of design and content, the valises are made from different coloured cardboard (red, green and tan). These editions are also called simply Boîte(s) and not Boîte(s)-enValise. Each edition is uniquely numbered and signed by Duchamp, but many of the small reproductions inside the Boîte are signed by Duchamp’s female alter-ego Rrose Sélavy. Rrose was not the only alter-ego Duchamp used, his famous artwork Fountain was signed by another alter-ego/pseudonymn—R.Mutt (you can see a miniature replica of this in every Boîte and Boîte-en-Valise). Marcel Duchamp began working on his series of Boîte(s)-en-Valise in 1935. He drew up a list of all the artworks he had made, who the owners were and where they were located. He began to catalogue them and record their details such as colours, measurements and materials, sometimes travelling to see the artworks, borrowing or even buying them back to replicate the works in further detail. The edition you see at Arnolfini is 0/XX (For Kay Boyle). Kay Boyle was a writer and social activist. It was shown in several exhibitions including Duchamp’s 1966 Tate Gallery retrospective, before becoming ‘lost’. This edition includes a unique hand coloured work based on the lower half of Duchamp’s Grande Verre (Large Glass), which is held in the collection of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. 0/XX (For Kay Boyle) dates from around 1943 and has been on loan from a private collection to Tate since 1999.

Boîte-en-Valise. Edition 0/xx (for Kay Boyle) Marcel Duchamp or Rrose Sélavy Courtesy Tate. Loan from private collection since 1999

Boîte-en-Valise. Edition 0/xx (for Kay Boyle)

Marcel Duchamp or Rrose Sélavy

Inventory 1.

Boîte-de ou par MARCEL DUCHAMP ou RROSE SELAVY Grey machine-made card


La mariée mise à nu par ses célibataires, même (Le Grand Verre)

Feuilles libres There are, as well as specifically placed objects in the Boîte-en-Valise, multiple folders that hold loose sheets. The contents are listed below folder by folder.

0.6mm gauge celluloid 3. 4.

50 cc air de Paris glass voyage black oilcloth, Fountain probably first mould, Paris,

Folder 1 19. Portrait père thin card (tinted); 20.


9 moules mâlic celluloid, 6mm

Le Buisson thin card (tinted); Partie d’échecs thin card (tinted);

Glissière contenant un moulin à eau (en métaux voisins) celluloid, die-stamped to shape

8. 9. 10. 11.

Ready made, New York, Feb. 17 1916, 11 A.M. thin Bristol-Rives card Tu m’ thin card (tinted) Nu descendant un escalier thin card (tinted). Frame in wood effect, 5mm

Mariée thin card (tinted). Frame in

border 1mm

Le roi et la reine entourés de nus vites thin card (tinted). Frame in wood effect, 5mm


smooth card (tinted)


Sonate thin card (tinted). Frame in

14. 15.

Folder 3 28. Jeune homme triste dans un train


thin card (tinted); border 1mm

3 stoppages étalon Bristol (tinted) règles à tracer thin card (tinted) Broyeuse de chocolat smooth white


paper backed with card. Frame: grey




Why not sneeze thin smooth card


(tinted) 18.

42. 43.

Bristol paper

Obligation de Monte Carlo card (tinted)

Broyeuse de chocolat thin card Elevage de poussière (dos du grand verre, détail) Bristol (tinted) Combat de boxe thin card (tinted)

Folder 7 44. Ready made Bristol card 45. Ready made thin smooth card (tinted) 46. In advance of the broken arm thin 47. 48.

(papier perlure) 63.

Coeurs volants card, red on one side only


glossy 64.2. Rotative

Pharmacie thin card (tinted)


demi-sphere art paper,

65.1. Rotative

Folder 8 50. Ready made aide (à bruit secret) grey toile d’architecte, gummed on reverse


plaques verre (Stéréoscopie Man Ray) white card 65.2. Stéréoscopie à la main white card 66. Rotorelief – disque optique white

33 West 67th, New York (1917–18)


Le roi et la reine traversés par des nus vites Bristol (tinted) Le roi et la reine traversés par des nus vites Arches paper

Couverture tinted paper Témoins oculistes (à regarder en transparence) wax paper

card (tinted)

card (tinted); border 1mm


thin card (tinted) 61.

Sculpture de voyage thin smooth

51.1. Roue de bicyclette (exemplaire 1916)

on celluloid, hand-coloured

Folder 11 60. A regarder d’un oeil, de près pendant presque une heure

Folder 12 64.1. Rotative plaques verre art paper,

Nu descendant un escalier thin

sometimes lower edge torn

Fresh Widow Bristol (tinted)

smooth card (tinted)

Ready made malheureux thin


glossy art paper 59.

smooth card (tinted)

(tinted). Frame in wood effect, 4mm

Grand Verre (lower half) collotype

Folder 10 58. La bagarre d’Austerlitz white


Portrait de joueurs d’échecs thin card

Folder 4 33.2 nus : un fort et un vite Arches paper,


Glissière (vue de dos) thin smooth

(tinted); border 1mm

Moulin à café thin card (tinted). Frame in wood effect, 4mm


Joueurs d’échecs Arches paper Joueurs d’échecs card (tinted); border 1mm/0.04 in.

cardboard strip, 6mm


Ready made rectifié ‘WANTED/$2,000 REWARD’

card (tinted)

Encore à cet astra thin smooth card (tinted)

wood effect, 5mm

Vierge Bristol (tinted) La mariée mise à un par les célibataires Arches paper, top

à propos de jeune soeur thin Yvonne et Magdeleine déchiquetées thin card (tinted);

wood effect, 5mm 12.

in wood effect, 4mm



Arches paper 40. 41.

Folder 2 23. Médiocrité Arches paper 24. Portrait thin card (tinted). Frame 25.

tinted paper


Folder 6 39. Cimetières des uniformes et livrées

border 1mm

wooden frame 7.

Vierge Arches paper (some with

and left edges torn

border 1mm 22.

Folder 9 54. L.H.O.O.Q. thin smooth card (tinted) 55. Soins dentaires du Dr Tzanck

Portrait du Dr Dumouchel thin card (tinted); border 1mm


glazed ceramic holes marked in black paint; most signed R. MUTT 1917


border 1mm

October – November 1938: about 10-15 units, in early Boîtes-en-valise. White

thin card (tinted); border 1mm 36. 37.

printed with ‘Underwood’ in green 5.

Folder 5 35. Le passage de la vierge à la mariée

glossy art paper, very thin

Trébuchet (porte-manteau accroché au sol – 1917) card Apolinère enameled thin card

Folder 13 67. Written Wrotten/Morceaux moisis



Orient paper (tinted), watermark 69.

Recette thin card (tinted) Rendezvous du Dimanche 6 Février 1916 à 1 h ¾ après midi Bristol (tinted)

La Boîte-en-Valise  

La Boîte-en-Valise

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