Claes Oldenburg Sculptures

(hit "refresh" to get the most recent version of this page; click on photos for larger images)

Claes Oldenburg became famous in the early 1960s for his giant soft sculptures of everyday objects. In the late 1960s, his sculptures became larger and moved outdoors to public spaces around the world. He began collaborating with Coosje van Bruggen in 1976 and they married in 1977. They created more than 40 sculpture installations together until her death in 2009. For more, see this website.

Rubber Stamp
Cleveland, OH
Philadelphia, PA
Paint Brush
Philadelphia, PA
Venice, CA
The Rubber Stamp is 28 feet tall by 48 feet long. It was commissioned by the Amoco Oil Company in 1985. It was intended to be displayed in Amoco's lobby but ended up in storage in Indiana for seven years. In 1991, it was donated to Cleveland. For more, see this website. [map]

The Clothespin was created in 1976. It is 54 foot tall. The paint blob is six feet tall. Originally, Oldenburg had wanted to build a screw. [map]

This Paint Brush was installed in 2011. The sculpture if officially entitled the Paint Torch. It is 51 feet long. For more, see this website. [map]

Another Oldenburg sculpture in Philadelphia is the Split Button which was installed in 1981.

The Binoculars are 45 feet tall and were created from 1989-1991. They were originally designed for a project in Venice, Italy that fell through. Architect Frank Gehry liked the design and incorporated it into his Chiat/Day Building. The binoculars themselves function as office space. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

Big Sweep
Denver, CO
Las Vegas, NV
The Big Sweep was installed in 2006. It consists of a 31-foot-tall metal sculpture of a broom and dustpan. [map]

The Flashlight is 38 feet tall and made of steel. It is located at the University of Nevada at Las Vegas. The Flashlight was created by Oldenburg and Van Bruggen and installed here in 1981. A ring of light around the bottom is lit at night. For more, see this website. [map]

Safety Pin
New Orleans, LA
Safety Pin
San Francisco, CA
The Safety Pin in New Orleans, officially titled "Corridor Pin, Blue," was installed in 1999 in the Sydney and Walda Besthoff Sculpture Garden. It is 21 feet tall and made of stainless steel and aluminum.

An identical Safety Pin in San Francisco was installed in Golden Gate Park in 1999. [map]

Typewriter Eraser
Washington, DC
Typewriter Eraser
Las Vegas, NV
Typewriter Eraser
West Palm Beach, FL
Oldenburg and Van Bruggen made these Typewriter Erasers from 1989-1990. The sculptures are officially titled "Typewriter Eraser, Scale X". They are just over 19 feet tall and made of fiberglass and stainless steel. There is another one in Seattle, WA. [DC map]; [Las Vegas map]; [West Palm Beach map]

Spoonbridge and Cherry
Minneapolis, MN
The Spoonbridge and Cherry was created and installed in 1988. The stainless steel and aluminum sculpture is approximately 29 feet long and 13 feet tall. It is installed at the Minneapolis Sculpture Garden at the Walker Art Center. The sculpture is set in a pond where it acts as a fountain. [map]

Three-Way Plug
Oberlin, OH
Three-Way Plug
Philadelphia, PA
Oldenburg created the first bronze Three-Way Plug in 1970. These sculptures are ten feet long. There is a another one in St. Louis, MO. Oldenburg has created other three-way plugs over the years of various materials, including one of mahogany and another of vinyl. [Oberlin map]; [Philadelphia map]

Kansas City, MO
These 18 foot tall Shuttlecocks are located at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art. The four shuttlecocks, also known as badminton birdies, were designed by Oldenburg and Van Bruggen. They were installed in 1994. [map]

Hats in Three Stages of Landing
Salinas, CA
Hats in Three Stages of Landing consists of three aluminum and steel hats. They were commissioned by the City in 1978 and installed in 1982. In 2013, the sculpture was removed for restoration. These photos are from 2014 taken just after the sculpture was reinstalled. [map]

Kansas City, MO
Baseball Bat
Chicago, IL
Bow and Arrow
San Francisco, CA
The 12-foot-tall Handkerchief was created by Oldenburg and Van Bruggen. It was installed in front of the Kemper Museum of Contemporary Art in 2006. It represents a white handkerchief billowing out of a suit pocket. For more, see this website. [map]

The Baseball Bat in Chicago is officially named the Batcolumn. It was produced by Oldenburg and Van Bruggen and installed in 1977 in front of the Social Security Administration Building. The 100-foot-tall steel bat was made in Connecticut. The whiffle structure helps it withstand windy weather. For more, see these websites: 1 and 2. [map]

The Bow and Arrow, officially known as Cupid's Span, was installed in 2002. The 60-foot-tall steel and plastic statue is located near the Bay Bridge. [map]

More Oldenburg Sculptures:
Garden Trowel (Des Moines, IA)
Safety Pin, Trowel & Hankie (New York, NY) [gone]
Dropped Ice Cream Cone (Koln, Germany)
Bowling Pins (Eindhoven, Netherlands)

Giant Things
Main Page