Miniature Soft Drum Set
Miniature Drum Set

Claes Oldenburg, American (born Sweden), born 1929

Made in United States, North and Central America


Silkscreened canvas on wooden base covered with silkscreened paper, cord and wood parts

12 x 17 x 21 inches (30.5 x 43.2 x 53.3 cm)

© Claes Oldenburg

Curatorial Department:
Contemporary Art

Object Location:

Currently not on view

Accession Number:

Credit Line:
Gift of Carl Steele, 1981

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With its worn folds, frayed edges, and canvas skins that gently sag at their seams, Miniature Soft Drum Set appears well broken in, despite having never made a sound. Claes Oldenburg, a prominent Pop artist and master of soft sculpture, first sought to visualize a soft drum set in 1967. Having found it “impossible to imagine and therefore to draw,” he designed a pattern to be silkscreened onto canvas and sewn together. Like real drum sets, Oldenburg’s sculpture may be reassembled in various configurations. In this way, the work can take an endless multiplicity of unique forms.