Split Button was commissioned by the University of Pennsylvania, and also the National Endowment for the Arts. The total cost of the sculpture was around $100,000. Claes Oldenburg was the creator of the sculpture "Split Button". It was installed on June 25, 1981. It took Oldenburg three years to create, and install the sculpture. It is aluminum painted, and it is four feet, eleven inches off the ground, with a diameter of sixteen feet.
The artist tried "Rolling it, breaking it in half and bending it in different ways. In the end , we came up a design in which the button was split and the two parts were set together at an angle."according to Coosje. The artist thought process of the "Split Button", was they had four holes in the button. They did this, because the founder of Philadelphia, William Penn, designed the city around four parks, which inspired the artist to create the design. The "Split Button" was once the color black to honor the students who had been killed by AIDS. Some students at the college did not like this sculpture of a button. They called it "Intrusive", and a "Poor" design to the college.
It is a very unusual, and unique sculpture. I was surprised that it was such a small sculpture, because most of Oldenburg's work is very large. I like that he has created a simple idea, but also put a twist to a button. I respect him for keeping it the color black to honor students that have been taken away by AIDS. He has good meaning, and I also have noticed that he does a lot of his work a colleges.