Des Moines, Iowa
The Crusoe Umbrella was commissioned in September 1978 by the Civic Center of Greater Des Moines. It was created by Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. This sculpture was installed on November 27th, 1979. From when the artists first had the idea for it, it took a little over a year before it was finally completed.
Words from the Artists
The two artists who created this wanted it to resemble the umbrella of Robinson Crusoe (who was inspiration for the name). They wanted to have more organic subjects, unlike other sculptures like this that use geometric ones. One of the first models for the sculpture was made of branches from their Christmas tree. The place where the Crusoe Umbrella stands is like an island In the surroundings of the city, and there is a pool of water on one side of it.
In my opinion, the Crusoe Umbrella is a very interesting sculpture. I think it is neat how one of the first models was made of branches from a Christmas tree. I like how it is something that stands out in the middle of city life. The artist captured the shape very well. There is a sense of motion created by the angles.