Claes Oldenburg - Miniature Soft Drum Set
American, b.1929
Miniature Soft Drum Set, 1969 (completed 1970)
Mixed media multiple and screenprint, 10 x 19 inches
Edition 115/200
Multiples, Inc.

Gift of Thomas S. Porter (MBA '67)

Claes Oldenburg, the renowned Pop Art sculptor, is also one of the great draftsmen of the twentieth century. His imaginative drawings and prints have been the basis for his sculpture, especially the large-scale projects. He is renowned for taking everyday objects and recreating them as sculpture in a variety of materials that transform their original identities. He also employs surprising changes in scale and materials. One of his wittiest strategies is to take what is hard and make it soft. The ordinary becomes fantastical.

Oldenburg's Miniature Soft Drum Set is a mass-produced edition sculpture known as a multiple. It is related to the artist's rendering of the same subject in unique larger-scale sculptures and in numerous drawings and prints.
The Miniature Soft Drum Set came packaged in a wooden box with a screen printed lid that served as its base. The box contained all of the drum elements which were enclosed in a soft translucent vinyl sewn bag. It also included an offset lithograph with six illustrations entitled Some Positions for the Miniature Soft Drum Set. Following in the spirit of these instructions, the owner was encouraged to change periodically the configuration of the parts to create new identities for the artist's magical instrument.