Everyday object selected and designated as art. The name was coined by Marcel Duchamp, whose first ready-mades included a snow shovel that he picked up on a snowy day in New York, and a wheel mounted on a stool (1913). They represented a protest against the excessive importance attached to works of art. Duchamp's anti-aesthetic gestures made him one of the leading Dadaists of his day, and his ready-made concept, though widely regarded for decades as an insult to art, was adapted by such later artists as Robert Rauschenberg, Andy Warhol, and Jasper Johns.

This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise.
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