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Conservation Notes: Catching up with Claes Oldenburg’s Floor Burger

September 24th, 2012

Claes Oldenburg, Floor Burger (1962), canvas filled with foam rubber and cardboard boxes, painted with acrylic paint, 132.1 x 213.4, purchase, 1967, © 2012 Claes Oldenburg.


Claes Oldenburg’s iconic sculpture Floor Burger, one of the highlights of our modern collection, is out of storage and will soon be back on view to the public. There’s a lot more to this story, though. Keep reading to find out what behind-the-scenes process AGO visitors can see up close this fall and winter.

Earlier today, our staff brought Claes Oldenburg’s Floor Burger (1962) to a gallery space where — starting in mid-October and until early 2013 — AGO conservator Sherry Phillips will prepare it for a trip. The piece is heading to the Museum of Modern Art, where it will be part of their upcoming exhibition Claes Oldenburg: The 1960s.

The conservation process will involve stabilizing the sculpture, especially the surface paint, to make sure it arrives safe and sound in New York City. Representatives from MoMA are here at the AGO to help determine what work needs to be done. They certainly can speak from experience: In 2009, MoMA conservators treated Oldenburg’s Floor Cake (1962) and documented the process extensively.

While she will be working intently on the piece most hours when the Gallery is open, Sherry will answer questions from visitors and explain the process at select times during the day. If you have questions about the work we’re doing on Floor Burger but can’t make it to the Gallery, please leave them in the comments, post them on our Facebook page or ask us via Twitter.

We’re excited to give our visitors a chance to see Conservation in action. Keep an eye on Art Matters for ongoing updates on the process — including the public project’s start date — and don’t miss the chance to see the work up close when you visit us later this year!


Curious about Conservation?
If you have a burning question about Conservation, leave it in the comments below. We’ll do our best to give you an answer in an upcoming Conservation Notes post.


Signature Partner of the AGO’s Conservation Program


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One Response to “Conservation Notes: Catching up with Claes Oldenburg’s Floor Burger

  1. […] better. Interesting indeed. Or creating something more along the lines of Claes Oldenburg’s Floor Burger to heighten the […]

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