In the summer of 1979, the Mouse Museum of American artist Claes Oldenburg is constructed in Otterlo. He developed this small museum as part of the 5th Documenta in Kassel, where it was exhibited once only. The floor plan of the Mouse Museum is a variation of Oldenburg’s Geometric Mouse, a recurring theme in his oeuvre, which is a visual amalgamation of an old-fashioned film camera and the cartoon character Mickey Mouse.
A second presentation space for Oldenburg is also installed. The Ray Gun Wing has the shape of a ‘ray gun’, a laser weapon with its origins in science fiction. Visitors move through the space like a laser beam: The Ray Gun Wing is entered through an opening in the handle and can be exited through the barrel.
Claes OldenBurg, Ray Gun Wing; plan and objets trouvés
Both spaces contain a collection of hundreds of small objects that the artist bought or received, found in the street or made himself. In the Ray Gun Wing, these objects are almost 300 variations of the laser gun. The Mouse Museum also includes scale models of other sculptures by the artist. The Model for Trowel, which the museum has owned since 1970, is also exhibited in the Mouse Museum. According to Oxenaar, this collection can be interpreted as ‘the visualization of a process in time, which consists not only of Oldenburg’s working method, but also of his vision of American society’.