Giant 3-Way Plug

by Claes Oldenburg

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Giant 3-Way Plug at the Philadelphia Museum of Art

Credit: M. Edlow for GPTMC

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1970
In the Philadelphia Museum of Art sculpture garden
(215) 763-8100

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Claes Oldenburg, known for his gratuitiously inflated the scale of domestic appliances, furniture, and other everyday objects, turned his attention to the three-way plug in the 1960s. 

Oldenburg constructed a large three-dimensional cardboard plug in 1965 and created versions in bronze, steel, canvas and mahogany. In 1970, Oldenburg’s plug achieved monumental stature in this Cor-Ten steel and bronze version (one of three created). The large-scale plug, which rests in the Ellen Phillips Samuel Memorial Sculpture Garden (1933-1961), gives the appearance of being embedded in the ground after falling from a great height.