Free Stamp

Cleveland, Ohio

Background History

The sculpture Free Stamp was made by Claes Oldenburg. SOHIO was the company who payed for the sculpture to be made. SOHIO is now known as BP American Inc. The date that the sculpture was commissioned was in December 1982, and the sculpture took about ten years to make, from the day it was commissioned to the day it was inaugurated. SOHIO decided to make the sculpture and to give it to Cleveland as a gift. The sculpture was installed from August to October in 1991, and the inauguration day, or the day when the sculpture is officially recognized was on November 15, 1991.

Artist's Statements

There were many different things that went into figuring out what to make for the sculpture and how to make it. When Claes first found saw where they would be putting it he thought that the slap of cement looked like a stamp pad and that is where they got the idea to make the stamp. The next important part was what would go on the stamp. His wife was the one who thought of the word free. Things came to a sudden stop when the company of SOHIO changed owners. The people of Cleveland were not to happy and they started talking about other places that they could put it. Then they started to think about what would happen if the stamp wasn't standing up but if it looked like it was dropped. This is how the sculpture is today and now you can see what the stamp says too.

My Opinion

There are many different things that I think about when I see this sculpture. First off I really like the piece of art. I think that it is really cool that even though ownership of the company that stared the sculpture changed the art work was still finished. It is also cool how the sculpture is placed, I like that it isn't just regularly standing. The word that they choose for on the stamp is really important, it can relate to many different people in pretty much any way that they want.