Model for an Arch in the Form of a Fishing Pole, Line, and Can, 1983

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Artifact is: 3 Dimensional Item

Located at: Vail Public Library

This artifact is significant to: Vail and Colorado

Artifact description:

Claes Oldenburg (b. 1929) & Coosje van Bruggen (1942-2009) Model for an Arch in the Form of a Fishing Pole, a Line, and a Can, for Vail Date: 1983

Why is this artifact significant?:

In the early 1980s Vail wanted to commission a significant work of public art from a renowned artist to serve as a landmark for the community. Then mayor, Rod Slifer obtained a $50,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts and the town commenced a dialogue with artists Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen. The artists conceived an installation for an oversized fishing pole approximately 50 to 60 feet high to be placed in the Gore Creek in Lionshead. At the end of the fishing line would be a stainless steel tin can fetched from the waters. Along with the grant, private funding was secured to create the work.

How does the artifact relate to Colorado history?:

As soon as the model was submitted to the town, controversy raged over the subject matter. Some people in the community believed the artist was warning of the consequences of development and others thought the tin can was an insult to the pristine Gore Creek. The work was never created. The model was donated to the town’s public art collection and serves as an important part of Vail history, community, and dialogue in a young town.

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