The Photo Request has been fulfilled.

 
 Joyce Hunter

Joyce Hunter

Birth
Death 18 Dec 1964
Burial Flushing, Queens County, New York, USA
Plot Plot #52b (unmarked)
Memorial ID 8820 · View Source
Suggest Edits

A teenage runaway and single mother from Pennsylvania, Joyce Hunter met the celebrated artist Joseph Cornell while waitressing at the Strand Food Shop in Manhattan, in February 1962. She became Cornell's first girlfriend, despite being forty years younger than him, and the elderly maker of collage and box assemblage renamed her "Tina" in his voluminous journals, praising her "adorable earnestness" and giving her several of his works as gifts (which she promptly sold, behind his back, to a private art dealer). She dropped out of his life in May 1962, and a lovelorn Cornell created his "Penny Arcade" collage series to commemorate the affair. In September 1964, Hunter and a new boyfriend raided Cornell's unlocked garage and stole nine of his boxes; the artist reluctantly filed charges with the police, and Hunter's arrest on September 18th made that day's New York Times. Still smitten with the young woman, Cornell refused to testify against his one-time love and even attempted to bail her out of jail. Without the cooperation of the artist charges against Hunter, and her boyfriend were first reduced, then dropped altogether. Hunter met amiably with Cornell at least once after that, but two months to the day after her arrest, she was murdered by a mentally unstable acquaintance in her room at the Hotel Breton Hall on Manhattan's Upper West Side. The murderer, Lawrence "Frenchie" French, plead guilty to first-degree manslaughter and later died in prison. Hunter's family showed no interest in claiming her body, and only Cornell's intervention saved her from a city burial in a pauper's grave. Though Cornell never put up a stone at the gravesite he purchased for Hunter, he made many visits to the grave over the last nine years of his life, and retained his collaborator, Larry Jordan, to make a short film of the unmarked plot.


Advertisement

Advertisement

Advertisement

  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Added: 12 Mar 2000
  • Find A Grave Memorial 8820
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Joyce Hunter (unknown–18 Dec 1964), Find A Grave Memorial no. 8820, citing Flushing Cemetery, Flushing, Queens County, New York, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave (contributor 8) .