To Make New Bodies
Out of Old Shapes


Triple Canopy

For “Raid the Icebox Now,” Triple Canopy created Can I Leave You?, a multimedia installation that responds to the RISD Museum’s Pendleton House, which was built in 1906 to exhibit the bequest (and resemble the nearby home) of the collector Charles Pendleton. This volume revises the lavish catalogue of Pendleton’s collection, published by the museum in 1906 in a limited edition featuring photogravure illustrations. In To Make New Bodies Out of Old Shapes, Triple Canopy focuses on the catalogue’s text, a seemingly anodyne description of styles and techniques. This language, however, is a manifestation of the rhetoric around taste, distinction, and progress, especially in industry and art, that has fueled the formation of American identity and abetted the exercise of American power.

As To Make New Bodies Out of Old Shapes progresses, the original catalogue is increasingly augmented by nationalistic speeches, nostalgic stories, messianic sermons, and other original sources that reflect this underlying agenda. Dutiful assessment of the collection is interrupted by a time traveler who meddles with the rebellion against the British, an enslaved person harvesting mahogany to furnish the homes of New England aristocrats, and a Chinese philosopher disturbed by the patrician penchant for dragons and pagodas.

Eventually, To Make New Bodies Out of Old Shapes gives itself over to these accounts.

The full text of To Make New Bodies Out of Old Shapes can be accessed here.

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The Pendleton Collection title page. A large ornate drawing of a Rococo-style frame surrounds the text: "The Pendleton Collection, Luke Vincent Lockwood, Published by The Rhode Island School of Design 1904"

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The Pendleton Collection book page: copyright page. Text says "Copyright 2020 by Luke Vincent Lockwood"

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The Pendleton Collection book: Title page. Text: "The Pendleton Collection"

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The Pendleton Collection book: Forematter. Text describes how many books were printed (160). Handwriting designates this as a copy of RISD.

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: Preface

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Blank Page: faint offset image of two eighteenth-century figures standing in front of an architectural element

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The Pendleton Collection: Table of Contents page, with an ornate photogravure frame around "table of contents"

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page

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The Pendleton Collection page: "Introduction"

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: blank page with offset image of a 18th century Chinese figure with a fan

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Pendleton Collection Catalog: Ornate photogravure of a frame surrounds the title "Introduction", followed by introductory text

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The Pendleton Collection book: Introductory text page 2

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The Pendleton Collection page: Introduction text page 3

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The Pendleton Collection page: Introduction text page 4

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Introduction Page 5

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The Pendleton Collection page: Introduction text page 6

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The Pendleton Collection page: Introduction text page 7

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Blank Page: faint offset image, photograph of the entryway to the Pendelton House, filled with early American furniture

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Pendleton Collection page: Dedication page: "This volume is inscribed to the memory of Charles Leonard Pendleton, A pioneer collector of the furniture of the past, whose sound instincts and delicate sensitiveness to the beautiful, together with unbounded zeal, have been an inspiration to all who were fortunate enough to know him."

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: blank page with offset illustration of an archer figure standing on a bridge

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Pendleton Collection page: "Plate I, Long case clock, Last Quarter, Eighteenth Century"

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Pendleton Collection page: Text page, describing a grandfather clock

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Pendleton Collection Catalog: fully blank page

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Pendleton Collection Catalog: Scribe text, with black & white image of a hand and quill in the left margin

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Pendleton Collection page: "Plate II, Pier Table: Chippendale Period, Middle Eighteenth Century"

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: text describing Pier Table, with an illustration of an 18th century Chinese figure standing in front of a single story building

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Pendleton Collection page: Photogravure of a pier table, rotated 90°

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Pendleton Collection Catalog: fully blank page

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: Oceanus script text

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: "Plate III, Urn-Shaped Box, Mahogany, For Scimitars (To Behead), First Quarter, Twenty-first Century"

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: text describing a mirror with an ornate frame

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Pendleton Collection Catalog: fully blank page

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: Scribe script text, with a small illustration of a one-story building, with a 18th century Chinese figure appearing in a round window with a lantern

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Pendleton Collection page: "Plate IV, Chair: Chippendale Period, Middle Eighteenth Century"

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: text describing Chippendale chair, with an illustration of two eighteenth century Chinese figures with fans interacting with a figure in Western attire with a cane

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Pendleton Collection page: Photogravure of a Chippendale chair with ball and claw feet

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blank space

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: Script text with Altangi, Scribe, and Oceanus, with a black and white photograph of a hand with a quill

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: Script text with Altangi, Yi, and Doug

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: Script text with Altangi, Yi, and Doug

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: Script text with Altangi, Yi, and Doug

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: Script text with Altangi, Doug, and Yi

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: "Plate V, Pier Table, Chippendale Period, Middle Eighteenth Century"

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: chapter heading has changed to "Can I Leave You?",  text describing the Chippendale Pier Table, with an illustration of a Chinese boat with a single oar, and a photogravure of the upper part of the table leg

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: photogravure of a Chippendale pier table, with marble top and ball and claw feet

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: Script text with Scribe, Doug, and Yi

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: "Plate VI, Mirror: Dutch Period, First Quarter, Eighteenth Century"

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: chapter heading has changed to "Can I Leave You?",  text describing a beleaguered clay house and a new one, and the mirror

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Pendleton Collection Catalog: fully blank page

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: silhouette of a photogravure of an ornate mirror frame with two candles

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: Script text with Scribe, and two line drawings of furniture decorative details, one looks like a smiling face and the other looks like an eagle head turning into acanthus leaves

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: Script text with Scribe and Altangi

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: Script text with Altangi

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: illustration of figure with a straw hat and a bundle on a stick over its shoulder, walking on a bridge near a small roofed structure

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: Script text with Yi, Altangi, and Oceanus

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page

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The Pendleton Collection book frame detail

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: Script text with Altangi, Scribe, and Doug

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The Pendleton Collection book China Cabinet

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: Script text with Scribe, Doug, and Altangi

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Chinese Vases

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: Script text with Doug and Altangi

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photogravure of Frame silhouette

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: Script text with Yi, Altangi, and Doug

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: Script text with Altangi, Doug, and Altangi

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: Script text with Yi and Scribe

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: Script text with Scribe, Oceanus, and Yi

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: Script text with Oceanus, Altangi, and Doug

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: Script text with Scribe, Doug, and Oceanus

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: Script text with Scribe, Altangi, and Doug

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: Script text with Yi

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: Script text with Scribe

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Blank Page

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Page: Script text with Yi, Altangi, Doug, and Scribe

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Pendleton Collection Catalog Blank Page

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Cite this article as

Chicago Style

MLA Style

This chapter accompanies the exhibition Raid the Icebox Now with Triple Canopy: Can I Leave You?, on view at the RISD Museum November 22, 2019–October 25, 2020. Concept and direction by Alexander Provan, Matthew Shen Goodman, and C. Spencer Yeh, with Hannah Whitaker and Meredith Morran; revision of The Pendleton Collection by Alexander Provan; script by Matthew Shen Goodman and Alexander Provan; video editing by Meredith Morran with C. Spencer Yeh; videography by Jess Y Lee with Carolyn Gennari and Erik Gould.

Publication Project Lead by Jeremy Radtke. Creative direction by Carolyn Gennari. Design by Brendan Campbell. Animation sequences by Kit Son Lee. Curatorial Support by Sarah Ganz Blythe. Additional production support by Carson Evans, Kit Son Lee, Arielle Eisen, Alex Hanesworth, and Jeremy Radtke. Special Thanks to RISD Archives and Andrew Martinez and Douglas Doe.

Photographs used in plate illustrations courtesy of The Pendleton Collection by RISD Museum, copyright 1904 by Luke Vincent Lockwood.

Glass Plate Negatives courtesy of RISD Archives