I am ending on this display because it has been my favorite for more than 30 years.
When I was a copywriter-trainee at Fortune magazine (my first job after college), I would walk by this on my way home every night. I never get tired of looking at it.
I always thought it was a Claes Oldenburg design. He did giant pop art things I knew from college in Philadelphia: a giant clothespin downtown, a big white broken button on the Penn Campus in front of the main library. He is still alive.
The rendering of the hooks, the one discarded ball off to one side, as if the sculptor of the pyramid was keeping some extras on hand in case one broke, the scale. What’s not to like? And the fact it has been around so long makes it all the more amazing to me. Do they have individual boxes for the the balls in winter? Or is just one giant thing that they come in the middle of the night and plop down with a crane?
The mystery will have to wait, Google and Wikipedia have so far turned up nothing of the provenance of this display, and by the time the column gets published it will be Christmas.
Thank you, Bentley Meeker, for the annotated drive, and Merry Christmas to all.
Photo: Cornelia Stiles/BizBash