First and foremost is the book which the Art Institute of Chicago put out when
they had their Cornell show in the early/mid 80's. I'd tell you who wrote it,
but I've loaned it out to a friend for the time being. Lots of pictures.
Another goodie has already been mentioned by another poster: "Utopia Parkway:
the Life and Work of Joseph Cornell." This is the "big fat" biography of
Cornell by Deborah Solomon. I couldn't put it down, either. It doesn't have
too many pictures, but it's about all of the information you could ever need
on the man. It is quite enjoyable. Solomon traces Cornell's work through all
of the contemporary art movements and shows how they influenced his work and
visa versa. Great book.
If you want to know more from the man himself, there is "Joseph Cornell's
Theater of the Mind" which is comprised of letters from Cornell and excerpts
from his enigmatic journals. This isn't really something you would want to
read cover to cover (or maybe it is) Cornell's journal entries vary from
musings on music to lists of what sweets he ate that day. He can be quite
poetic and quite frustrating at times.
I have also heard of a book by Eche Bonk, Susan Davidson, Anne D'Harnoncourt,
and Lynda rosc Hartigan called "Joseph Cornell/Marcel Duchamp ... Resonance" I
can't tell you much about the book aside from that it seems not to be a book,
but something else... "a treasure" someone told me but wouldn't go into
details saying i "just had to see it." I guess I have to buy it.