Kansas City, Missouri

Background History

Shuttlecocks was commissioned in May 1992 by The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art. Claes Oldenburg was the artist that created Shuttlecocks. The statue was installed on the lawn of The Nelson Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City from June 23-July 1,1994. The entire creating process of the sculptures took two years to complete. Each of the four shuttlecocks stand about 18 feet tall.
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Artists Statement

While Oldenburg and Coosje were visiting the exhibits shortly after arriving, they came across an ariel photo of the museum grounds. The photo reminded them of a tennis court. The first thought was to put tennis balls all over the lawn but then Oldenburg decided that balls were too repetitive. Coosje suggested that they put shuttlecocks all over the land because they were lyrical objects and could float, spin, and land in different positions on the lawn. One problem faced was that there was controversy over how the shuttlecock was too boring for such a prestigious site. The matter was resolved when the museum offered to give art history courses showing that simple subjects have a long history in art.

My Opinion

I think that these sculptures were a good touch to the museum grounds. I don't think that shuttlecocks are too simple of an item either. I really liked how the sculptures were placed in different positions as well.