Marcel Duchamp
Historical Figure
Nationality: France (later naturalized citizen of the United States)
Date of Birth: 1887
Date of Death: 1968
Cause of Death: Natural causes
Occupation: Artist, Chess Player
Spouse: Lydie Sarazin-Lavassor (divorced),
Alexina "Teeny" Sattler
Professional Affiliations: Dada movement
Turtledove Appearances:
Southern Victory
POD: September 10, 1862
Appearance(s): American Front
Type of Appearance: Direct
Marcel Duchamp (28 July 1887 – 2 October 1968) was a French artist whose work is most often associated with the Dadaist and Surrealist movements. Duchamp's output influenced the development of post-World War I Western art.
Arguably, Duchamp's most famous work of art is the 1912 painting "Nude Descending a Staircase, Number 2." This painting was given the nickname "explosion in a shingle factory" by critic Julian Street of the New York Times.

Marcel Duchamp in Southern VictoryEdit

Marcel Duchamp toured the Confederate States in 1914. He was showing his work at Marshlands Plantation when the Great War began. Central Powers submersibles made a return to France unacceptably dangerous for Duchamp, so he extended his stay at Marshlands indefinitely.[1] During one of his more maudlin fits of drunkenness, he found himself thrown out of the estate by Anne Colleton when he ruminated on the nature of war upon seeing what poison gas had done to Jacob Colleton's body.[2]

The huntsman Cassius described Duchamp's painting "Nude descending a staircase" as "like an explosion went off in a shingle factory."[3] When Cassius torched the Marshlands mansion during the Red Rebellion he regretted that the Duchamp paintings were no longer there, as he would have liked to burn them, too.[4] President Woodrow Wilson, on the other hand, felt Duchamp's work demonstrated a spirit of progressivism in thought and art that was shared by the Entente, but was absent from the Central Powers.[5]

Years after the war, Duchamp painted a "portrait" of Anne Colleton in his signature cubist style which the subject found utterly obscene, much to the amusement of her brother, Tom. Adding insult to injury, the title of the portrait identified Anne Colleton as being from North, not South, Carolina.[6] She then remembered that he spent most of his time at Marshlands "getting drunk and laying nigger serving girls."[7]


  1. American Front, pg. 171
  2. Ibid., pg. 406.
  3. Ibid., pg. 79.
  4. Ibid., pg. 562.
  5. Ibid., at pg. 75
  6. The Center Cannot Hold, pgs. 95-96.
  7. Ibid., pg. 95.