Education: Lesson Plan
Typewriter eraser

Claes Oldenburg, American (b.Sweden,1929). Lunder collection, 004.2008, Typewriter Eraser, 1977.
Stainless stell, ferro-cement, and aluminum

Lesson: Claes Oldenburg


written by Kim Brennan

What is Pop Art you may ask?

Pop art was an art movement that involved using items from popular mass culture as inspiration for making art. Such things as advertising, comic books, and ordinary cultural objects (like spoons!) were used to create sculptures, paintings, prints, ect. 

Can you tell what the subject of the sculpture is?

You may need to ask your parents or grandparents. It is something they probably used. It is a typewriter eraser! The metal fringe on top represents a brush you could use to sweep away eraser crumbs.

Look at a picture of the typewriter eraser. Why do you think the artist made his sculpture so big?

How is it different from the sculpture you are used to seeing?


Claes Oldenburg is well known for his large scale sculptures and for being a leader in the Pop art movement. Oldenburg radically changed the size of ordinary objects and used unexpected materials in making them. Have you ever seen a spoon with a cherry the size of a three-story building? He made a sculpture like this to be used in the outside garden fountain in Minneapolis!

Imagine you were three stories tall and could build any type of sculpture. What would you make and why? Can you draw a picture of it in the space below?

What do you think people's reactions would be to your sculpture? What different types of materials would you make your sculpture out f if it was going to stay outside?


Oldenburg often made a small version of a sculpture to show people what the really big one would look like. You can do the same thing! Make a model of a sculpture using the materials at home, like modeling clay, play dough or cardboard. Then make a diorama model of a city with tall buildings around your sculpture to show the scale(how big it will be.) Sketch what you will make on a piece of paper.