Oldenburg exported still life as a subject from painting to sculpture, and made sculpture a celebration of food. The Pastry Case is filled with the kind of pastries you would see in the deli or in a diner. As you can see, it's housed in an actual pastry case that would still be available to buy at a restaurant supply store on the Bowery.
Oldenburg didn't just buy the case for all these pastries, but he bought the metal dishes and ceramic plates that were very typical of a cheap diner, in which to put his pieces of pie or his scoops of ice cream.
CLAES OLDENBURG: I’m interested in objects that revolve around food and clothing. And I think that has to do with my interest in myself and in other human beings. I think food is a very important thing in life. And clothes are also a very important thing in life. And, that's what people are kind of obsessed with. And you see it everywhere. And the whole basis of my work is about my relation to my surroundings. And clothing and food it's very close to me or to anyone.