The Cleveland Museum of Art

Collection Online as of April 25, 2024

Giant Toothpaste Tube

Giant Toothpaste Tube

(American, 1929–2022)
Overall: 64.8 x 167.6 x 43.2 cm (25 1/2 x 66 x 17 in.)
© Claes Thure Oldenburg
Location: not on view

Did You Know?

Oldenburg kept the color and shape of the toothpaste tube he recreated true to reality, and instead changed the context, size, and state of his subject to render his object surreal and humorous.


Oldenburg became known in the 1960s for his involvement with New York counterculture figures in producing group performances called happenings and art films. Later in the decade, he mined ubiquitous consumer culture to create sculptures of commonplace objects rendered in monumental size through unexpected materials. Elevated from a banal household thing into a work of art, these works make the most everyday subjects strange, presenting them as if we were encountering them for the first time.
  • The Artist; Sydney Janis Gallery, New York; Alan Power, London; Private Collection, London; Richard Lane, New York (acquired from Didier Imbert Fine Art, Paris 1989); Private Collection, USA (acquired from James Mayor Gallery, London 1992).
  • 1995-1996 - "Claes Oldenburg: An Anthology" Washington, D.C., National Gallery of Art (February 12-May 7,1995) | Los Angeles, Museum of Contemporary Art (June 18-September 3, 1995) | New York, Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (October 7, 1995-Janurary 21, 1996) | Bonn, Kunst-und Ausstellunghalle der Bundesrepublik Deutschland (February 15-May 12, 1996) | London, The Hayward Gallery (June 6-August 19, 1996)
    1991-1993 - "The Pop Art Show" London, Royal Academy of Art (September 13-December 16, 1991) | Cologne, Museum Ludwig (January 22-April 21, 1992) | Madrid, Museo Nacional Centro de Arte Reina Sofía (June 16-September 24, 1992) | Montréal, Musée des beaux-arts (October 22, 1992-January 24, 1993)
    1971-1973 - "Claes Oldenburg: Object into Monument" Pasadena, Pasadena Art Museum (December 7, 1971-February 6, 1972) | Berkeley, University Art Museum (February 28-April 9, 1972) | Des Moines, Des Moines Art Center (September 18-October 29, 1972) | Chicago, The Art Institute of Chicago (January 20-February 25, 1973)
    1970 - "Oldenburg" London, The Tate Gallery (June 24-August 16, 1970)
    1970 - "Claes Oldenburg" Amsterdam, Stedelijk Museum of Modern Art (January 16-March 15, 1970)
    1969 - "Claes Oldenburg" New York, Museum of Modern Art (September 25-November 23, 1969)
    1966 - London, Robert Fraser Gallery, 1966
    1964 - "Exhibition of Recent Work by Claes Oldenburg" New York, Sidney Janis Gallery (April 7-May 2, 1964)
  • {{cite web|title=Giant Toothpaste Tube|url=false|author=Claes Thure Oldenburg|year=1964|access-date=25 April 2024|publisher=Cleveland Museum of Art}}

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