Philadelphia, the city of brotherly LO.
Forget sandy beaches and idyllic national parks—our very own Philly has been named the fourth best travel destination in the US. All UTB has to say is DUHHH. We could have told you that. In fact, we should really be #1. I mean, Kentucky? Robbed.
Lonelyplanet has dubbed Philly the new art capital, pointing to renowned destinations like the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the trendy Loft District. The only thing missing from the list is a little shoutout to West Philly. It’s also no secret that Penn is the gem of the Philadelphia art scene. There’s a giant, broken sex button in front of our library. There are two giant tampons duking it out over Locust Walk. We’re artsy.
Now that the secret’s out, everyone’s going to be cancelling holiday flights to St. Bart’s and flooding our little city. ‘Tis the price of fame. Just remember that we were here before it was cool.
Although we’ve got a pretty good feeling that this “crest”-fallen art has something to do with the SPEC Fall Concert artist announcement, we haven’t completely ruled out the possibility that these may in fact be the vengeful chalkings of a scorned lover. Find out if you’re the father this Thursday, September 20th.
Today’s “WTF?-but-actually-not-too-surprising” moment is brought to you by this cloaked character spotted preaching from our home base this morning. Why the hidden identity? Did anyone catch any controversial words of wisdom he was spouting? More importantly, would he win in a throwdown against our favorite College Green painter? Drop us a line in the comments.
Claes Oldenburg is an 82-year-old Swedish sculptor best known for featuring everyday objects in his work. If you know nothing about contemporary art and his name still sounds familiar, then you’ve eavesdropped on one too many visitors’ tours. Oldenburg is indeed the man who created our beloved Button!
Philly Mag interviewed the ol’ chap and he was just the cutest! Especially since he apparently knew nothing at all about the grand legacy surrounding his Split Button here at Penn. Here’s the adorable quote:
Do you know there’s a tradition at Penn involving your Split Button sculpture? I know it’s in many of their photographs—pictures of the band standing on it, kids sticking their heads out of the holes.
They try to have sex under it. Is that right?
Whacha doin’ there on the Button?
We leave it alone for Spring Break for two seconds and homies start messing with it!
And now it’s all boarded up: look after the jump. Waaaah tell us what’s going on please.
Read the rest of this entry »
Who knew the button was Jewish? Our favorite Penn landmark is now sporting a menorah. (C)happy Chanukah from the button!
In an article from yesterday’s Daily Princetonian detailing fraternity hazing, we came across the following:
“One senior, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, recalled his experience rushing Alpha Epsilon Pi, explaining that pledges were required to make trips to Philadelphia, where they had to complete tasks like peeing on the University of Pennsylvania’s famed “Split Button” sculpture..”
Boys, you’re peeing on the wrong sculpture.
Did everyone at Penn always love the Button? Nope. But now, since it’s trendy and cool to emulate us in our buttoneering love, everyone’s like, “OMG. The Button!”
Even the admissions office! The admissions staff will be wearing these buttons (technically, we guess, they are pins) of the Button during Penn Previews, which start today.
It’s no secret that we love the Button. A lot. So we were disconcerted when we stumbled across this letter to the editor of the The Pennsylvania Gazette via an old class site of KWH guru/UTB friend Al Filreis. It appears as though this letter is at least a couple of years old. And what exactly does it say? Well…
As I recently had the occasion to visit Penn for the first time in several years, I had the pleasure of reacquainting myself with the charm of the campus. Only one thing mars the calm beauty of the center of campus: the large white sculpture of a button folded on one side that sits in front of the Van Pelt Library.
This button does not in the least fit with its surroundings. It is too large; it is too white; it is too devoid of meaning. Its color does not match nor its style complement any of the buildings around it, nor does it balance the statue of Benjamin Franklin, which it faces. It does not (I hope) symbolize any of the values for which Penn stands. In its current location, this folded button symbolizes nothing, except perhaps bad taste; it is simply an obtrusive eyesore.
Many things could be done to improve the situation. Perhaps it could be traded to the Rodin Museum for The Thinker; or maybe The Gates of Hell — something with a bit of meaning, for a change. If not, there are many out of-the-way little nooks around campus that the button could adorn. I’m sure some school, building, or department could be persuaded to take it (threats to cut off funding might be of use here). Someone, somewhere in the University could find a creative use for it; there could even be a contest. Let’s not continue having a folded button as the centerpiece of our otherwise beautiful campus.
PAUL FAHN, ’84 C
New York City
This shit is wack. Our rebuttal after the jump. Read the rest of this entry »