by Claes Oldenburg


Oldenburg’s Clothespin outside City Hall

Credit: R. Tarver for GPTMC



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Philadelphia’s City Hall has inspired many reactions, but perhaps none quirkier than Claes Oldenburg’s. City Hall is formal, ornate late 19th century. Oldenburg’s 45-foot steel Clothespin, directly across 15th Street, is sleek, ultramodern, whimsical. Everyone has an opinion about the Clothespin. What’s yours?

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Oldenburg linked his design for the Clothespin to Constantin Brancusi’s well-known sculpture The Kiss in the Philadelphia Museum of Art. Many agree that the Clothespin’s shape resembles two lovers entwining.