French Sculpture Census

photo credit :
artist © : Fair Use (Section 107, Copyright Act, 1976)

RAY, Man
Philadelphia, PA 1890 - Paris 1976

Objet indestructible, ou Objet à détruire
Indestructible Object (or Object to Be Destroyed)

1923/1964 (1964, replica of 1923 original)
metronome with cutout photograph of eye on pendulum

8 7/8 x 4 3/8 x 4 5/8

Acc. No. : 248.1966a-e
Credit Line : James Thrall Soby Fund

New York, New York, The Museum of Modern Art


  • 1966, James Thrall Soby Fund


  • Museum's website, April 11, 2013
  • 1967 NY MoMA Barr
    Alfred H. Barr, Painting and Sculpture in The Museum of Modern Art, 1929-1967, New York, 1967, ill. 417
  • 1977 NY MoMA Legg
    Painting and Sculpture in The Museum of Modern Art, with Selected Works on Paper. Catalogue of the Collection, January 1, 1977, Edited by Alicia Legg, New York, The Museum of Modern Art, 1977, p. 60

Related Works

The original Object to Be Destroyed was destroyed in 1957, then remade in 1958 with the title Indestructible Object. "Since 1940, I made a replica from time to time, in all about five examples. These including the one you have I consider originals bearing the original eye." 100 replicas were produced in 1965.


MoMA's website, April 11, 2013:
June 18–September 11, 2006
Man Ray dated this work 1923, though it was transformed in 1932 when he substituted a photograph of the eye of Lee Miller—a photographer and the artist’s assistant, model, and lover—for the original eye he had used in what was then titled Object to Be Destroyed. At an exhibition in 1957, a group of protesting students took Man Ray at his word by destroying it; Man Ray eventually reconstructed and renamed the work Indestructible Object.