Dallas Museum of Art Bulletin, Summer 1984 Page: 14
The following text was automatically extracted from the image on this page using optical character recognition software:
Landmark Sculpture Installed
To hear the artist explain it, the idea of a monumental
spike existed for several years before an appropriate site
was offered, one suitably dramatic to warrant design
completion and to initiate the year-long production re-
quired of a sculpture so large and complex. One of four
art works created especially for the new Dallas Museum
of Art, Claes Oldenburgs Stake Hitch was commissioned
to honor the late John Dabney Murchison, Sr. and was
presented by his Family
Only the second museum commission Oldenburg has
accepted, Stake Htitch was developed for a specific site
when Museum officials and architect Edward L. Barnes
requested that the artist create a work that would "tie
together" the Museums barrel vault with the interior
space. Oldenburg experimented with the concept in his
New York studio, first in the form of a nail and eventually
as a stake, the shape of which suggests multiple allusions:
construction spike, tethering peg, and circus tent stake.
During its two-year evolution, the project underwent ma-
jor design changes, in the shape of the spike, of course,
but more significantly when Oldenburg's collaborator,
Coosje van Bruggen, suggested that a rope attached to the
40-foot vaulted ceiling be added to the knot encircling
the base of the stake.
1.' Y" -
.\ .Ici \\ as Icusd t() lit the sulp~ure., i\e ,ep. te components into
position to enter the building. Pictured is the knot in flight.
Providing visual tension and a natural element of drama,
the rope and stake combine to suggest a Texas cyclone.
"Stake Hitch is an outdoor subject located indoors,"
says Oldenburg, "as if the new Museum had been built
over it." In a project statement, Oldenburg and Van Brug-
gen characterize the sculpture as "an image of forces in
tension, natural and human. There is the suggestion of
raising a huge tent and of the form of a tornado - both
events taking place in the large sky hidden from view but
to which Stake Hitch points."
Claes Oldenburg and Coosje van Bruggen were both
present for the sculptures installation the week of April
23, along with Donald and Alfred Lippincott whose com-
pany fabricated the work in Connecticut. Because of the
sculpture's ingenious design, fabrication, and installation,
it is no longer apparent to the viewer that Stake Hitch is
actually comprised of five originally separate compo-
nents. The stake "head" is made of half-inch, reinforced
aluminum weighing 1500 lbs. and stands 13-feet-high. The
stake's 12-foot lower section weighs 500 lbs. and is in-
stalled in the Museums loading dock. The rope which
descends from the ceiling is 20 inches in diameter and
weighs 1000 lbs. The half-hitch knot and a rope "tail"
added during installation together weigh 2000 lbs. Inter-
estingly, if the knot was untied and the rope fully ex-
tended, it would measure 120 feet.
The head o the stake was It\\ered onto wvheelcd
carts in the Sculpture Garden before being
maneuvered into the contemporary gallery
Here’s what’s next.
This issue can be searched. Note: Results may vary based on the legibility of text within the document.
Tools / Downloads
Get a copy of this page or view the extracted text.
Citing and Sharing
Basic information for referencing this web page. We also provide extended guidance on usage rights, references, copying or embedding.
Reference the current page of this Periodical.
Dallas Museum of Art. Dallas Museum of Art Bulletin, Summer 1984, periodical, Summer 1984; Dallas, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth224963/m1/16/: accessed February 25, 2024), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Dallas Museum of Art.