Marcel Broodthaers. Pot of Mussels. 1968

Marcel Broodthaers Pot of Mussels 1968

  • Not on view

The mussel shell is a common material in the artist's work. Here, he filled a shallow pan past its brim with the shells and paired them with an equally heaping bowl of painted wooden french fries. This combination is a witty nod to Broodthaers's heritage, as moules-frites (mussels and french fries) is generally considered the Belgian national dish. Moreover, in French, la moule (a mussel) is close in pronunciation and spelling to le moule (a cast or mold), a traditional device used by sculptors. By incorporating the shells into his sculpture, Broodthaers transformed a verbal pun into a visual one.

Gallery label from 2012.
Mussel shells with tinted resin in painted pot
5 7/8 x 13 x 9 13/16" (15 x 33 x 25 cm)
Partial gift of the Daled Collection and partial purchase through the generosity of Maja Oeri and Hans Bodenmann, Sue and Edgar Wachenheim III, Agnes Gund, Marlene Hess and James D. Zirin, Marie-Josée and Henry R. Kravis, and Jerry I. Speyer and Katherine G. Farley
Object number
Painting and Sculpture

If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

All requests to license audio or video footage produced by MoMA should be addressed to Scala Archives at Motion picture film stills or motion picture footage from films in MoMA's Film Collection cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For licensing motion picture film footage it is advised to apply directly to the copyright holders. For access to motion picture film stills please contact the Film Study Center. More information is also available about the film collection and the Circulating Film and Video Library.

If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication or, please email If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to

This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to