Quirky Ohio: Free Stamp
Welcome to #QuirkyOhio, our 2017 blog series highlighting Ohio's odd, unusual and downright wacky experiences, places and events. Follow along as we profile some of the quirkiest parts of the state!If you're looking to see quirky public art, there's no need to travel to Chicago or NYC - look no further than Cleveland, Ohio, home of the world's largest rubber stamp!This sculpture was created by artist, Claes Oldenburg, known for his work creating larger-than-life replicas of everyday objects for public art installations, and was commissioned in 1982 to stand outside corporate headquarters on Cleveland's Public Square. After some debate as to where it should permanently reside, the Free Stamp found its home in Willard Park.Today, you can visit the park, located in the Cleveland Mall historic district, and see the 28ft x 26ft x 49ft giant stamp resting in the grass with its upturned face reading "FREE." According to Oldenburg at the sculpture's 1991 dedication at the park, FREE refers to the emancipation of American slaves after the Civil War and was a reference to the Civil War-era Soldiers' and Sailors' Monument across the street from the stamp's original location.While you're in Cleveland checking out quirky Ohio public art, visit the Cleveland Museum of Art. Here you can see works by renowned artists like Caravaggio and Warhol, and the Museum of Contemporary Art, which features modern photography exhibits and video installations.