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On Class Oldenburg

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In those years that we showed Claes Oldenburg in Chicago, I always wanted to place a large outdoor piece in his hometown. When the Latin School, of whose 1946 football team Oldenburg had been a star, moved to its new location on North Avenue, I talked to the architect, Harry Weese, about placing an Oldenburg outside, but there was apparently no way to get it funded. Several years later, I was approached by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill about an Oldenburg commission on the plaza in front of the new Sears Roebuck building, at the time the tallest building in the world. Both Oldenburg and I were excited by the prospect. Then the directive came from the Sears CEO. "Tell Oldenburg to make us a soft Sears catalogue." I passed this on to Claes, and the answer was as I expected. "Tell them to make it themselves."

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