A Souvenir Ash Tray from Washington DC is Part of Claes Oldenburg’s Mouse Museum (All Photos By Gail)
Claes Oldenburg, the legendary pop sculptor, has long been a collector of objects and images. His studio shelves contain an immense variety of items that, since 1972, he has gathered during his daily travels, alongside experiments and prototypes for his sculptures. Mouse Museum and Ray Gun Wing — currently on exhibit at The Museum of Modern Art — evolved from the artist’s commitment to this practice of collection, storage and display.
Ray Gun Wing (Top) and Mouse Museum
Located in the MOMA’s center atrium area, the Mouse Museum is the structure in the above photo that is shaped like a Geometric Mouse (a recurring motif in Oldenburg’s drawings, prints and sculptures). The Ray Gun Wing, which was created in 1977, is shaped like a gun. I had a peek inside each of these tiny museums when I was at MOMA the other day, which was a treat.
The Ray Gun Wing, as you might’ve guessed, is filled with cases displaying various types of toy guns and pistols and various every day objects — from soda can tabs to stones — shaped like guns and pistols. When I first walked into this wing, and saw all the different “prototypes” of toy guns, BB guns, ray guns, Nerf guns from the different eras – I instantly thought that my kid needs that nerf review, and snapped a few pictures for him on my phone. The Mouse Museum is filled with little fantasy trinkets, toys, candles and small prototype models for some of Oldenburg’s sculptures. I didn’t take any pictures inside of the Ray Gun Wing, because you weren’t really supposed to take any photos, but I took quite a few inside the Mouse Museum, because, why not? I had just been to the Punk exhibit over at the Met and I was feeling a little rebellious. Here are a few snaps of some of the cool stuff I saw inside a tiny room shaped like a mouse head.
Baked Potato Salt & Pepper Shakers
Silver Spoon and Wax Lips
Plastic Ham, Fire Hydrant
Miniature Bathroom Fixtures and Octopus
3D Cherry Pie
Prototypes for Stuffed Cake Slices, Small Purse
Miniature Play Food
Small Chair with Woven Seat, Carrot-shaped Dish
Miniature Plastic Ice Cream Bars
The Mouse Museum and Ray Gun Wing by Claes Oldenburg will be on Display Through August 5th, 2013 at the Museum of Modern Art, Located at 11 West 53rd Street in NYC.