Split Button

Title: Split Button
Artist: Claes Oldenberg
Location: Blanche Levy Park, in front of Van Pelt Library
Installed: June 18, 1981
Total cost: $100,000 including transportation and installation
($37,500 from University, $37,500 from NEA, and $25,000 in contributions raised by Mrs. H. Gates Lloyd, chair of the Visual Environment Committee that chose the piece.)

weighs 5000 lbs.
cast in reinforced aluminum
16 ft. in diameter
Oldenberg's 2nd major outdoor work in Phila. (1st was The Clothespin, 1976)

Oldenberg said, "The Split represents the Schuylkill. It divides the button into four parts--for William Penns original Philadelphia squares."
-Philadelphia Inquirer, 6/9/81

Criticism/Press Coverage:
Article in the Daily Pennsylvanian, December 3, 1982. (spelling errors and typos included!)

Letters by people who didn't like "Split Button" when it first appeared on campus:
  • Almanac, July 14, 1981
  • Pennsylvania Gazette, May, 1981

    Last update: 22-Jan-97
    Send mail concerning this page to: David Toccafondi / davidtoc@pobox.upenn.edu