Claes Oldenburg

Sep 23–Nov 23, 1969


Claes Oldenburg was the subject of MoMA’s first major Pop art show. The exhibition was also the first comprehensive treatment of the artist’s work, including more than 200 of his drawings and sculptures and featuring such iconic installations as The Street (1959–60) and The Store (1961). In the exhibition catalogue, critic Barbara Rose described the “hall of mirrors” effect of Oldenburg’s work and the questions it raises: “What is both hard and soft? What changes, melts, liquefies, and yet is solid?” The catalogue itself was an Oldenburgian object: it was bound in a foam-filled vinyl cover, with little sketches by the artist of toothpaste tubes, bananas, and screws decorating the bright-pink end paper, epitomizing Oldenburg’s guiding notion, “Nothing is irrelevant, everything can be used.”

  • This exhibition is part of 52 Exhibitions.
  • Publications

    • Claes Oldenburg Out of print, 246 pages
    • Master checklist 13 pages
    • Press release 1 page
    • Press release 4 pages


    Installation images

    How we identified these works

    In 2018–19, MoMA collaborated with Google Arts & Culture Lab on a project using machine learning to identify artworks in installation photos. That project has concluded, and works are now being identified by MoMA staff.

    If you notice an error, please contact us at [email protected].


    If you would like to reproduce an image of a work of art in MoMA’s collection, or an image of a MoMA publication or archival material (including installation views, checklists, and press releases), please contact Art Resource (publication in North America) or Scala Archives (publication in all other geographic locations).

    MoMA licenses archival audio and select out of copyright film clips from our film collection. At this time, MoMA produced video cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. All requests to license archival audio or out of copyright film clips should be addressed to Scala Archives at [email protected]. Motion picture film stills cannot be licensed by MoMA/Scala. For access to motion picture film stills for research purposes, please contact the Film Study Center at [email protected]. For more information about film loans and our Circulating Film and Video Library, please visit

    If you would like to reproduce text from a MoMA publication, please email [email protected]. If you would like to publish text from MoMA’s archival materials, please fill out this permission form and send to [email protected].


    This record is a work in progress. If you have additional information or spotted an error, please send feedback to [email protected].