One of the artists behind the iconic broom and dustpan at the Denver Art Museum has died

If you’ve seen it, you remember it.
1 min. read
The “Big Sweep” sits outside the Denver Art Museum in the Golden Triangle neighborhood, which was certified as a creative district by the state of Colorado in June 2016.
Corey H. Jones/CPR News

If you've seen it, you remember it: The giant broom and dustpan sculpture outside the Denver Art Museum is one of the most iconic pieces in the collection. It greets tens of thousands of visitors each year as they near the main entrance.

One of the artists behind the massive work, Claes Oldenburg, died Monday at his home in Manhattan. He was 93.

Oldenburg, who was Swedish American, was known for making larger-than-life versions of ordinary objects. He was a major figure in the Pop Art movement in the 1960s and beyond. He, along with his spouse and longtime collaborator Coosje van Bruggen, erected huge clothespins, hamburgers, shuttlecocks, shovels and countless other objects around the world. Van Bruggen died in 2009.

The pair's piece at the Denver Art Museum, "Big Sweep," was installed in 2006, and is a permanent fixture in the plaza outside the museum near 13th Avenue and Broadway.

Oldenburg and van Bruggen's work was the subject of an exhibit at DAM in 2018.

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