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“Kiepenkerl” by Jeff Koons

Kiepenkerl - Jeff Koons

“Kiepenkerl” by Jeff Koons

“Kiepenkerl” by Jeff Koons references an 1896 sandstone sculpture of a travelling peddler or “Kiepenkerl” by August Schmiemann in Münster, Germany. Koons’s replica sculpture was constructed of polished cast stainless steel and cast in 1987.  The statue depicts a full-length figure of a man, with a basket on his back, and a basket at the ground near his right leg, all in shiny finish surfaces.

The original Kiepenkerl sculpture was destroyed during World War II and was re-created in cast metal by Albert Mazzotti Jr in 1953. The replacement statue now stands in a small square in the Old Quarter of Münster, Germany. The original monument symbolised the man who comes to town from the country with produce to sell in his basket carried on the back. He may be a tenant farmer or a travelling peddler and symbolises a traditional and popular image from the early 1800s.

Jeffrey “Jeff” Koons

Jeffrey “Jeff” Koons is known for working with popular culture subjects and his reproductions of everyday objects. He is widely known for his balloon animal sculptures produced in stainless steel with mirror finish surfaces.


  • Does all art have Symbolism and Metaphor?
  • How do polished stainless steel sculptures make you feel compare to traditional bronze or stone sculptures?
  • Why is the shared memory of a travelling peddler still of interest?


  • Title:             Kiepenkerl
  • Artist:           Jeff Koons
  • Year:             1987
  • Medium:      Stainless steel
  • Dimensions: 72 3/4 × 31 1/2 × 32 1/4 in., 550 lb. (184.8 × 80 × 81.9 cm, 249.5 kg)
  • Museum:       Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden

Jeff Koons

  • Name:          Jeff Koons
  • Born:            1955 – York, Pennsylvania, U.S.
  • Nationality:  American
  • Notable work

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“I invent nothing, I rediscover.”
– Auguste Rodin


Photo Credit: By Jeff KoonsAgnosticPreachersKid (Own work) [Public domain or CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons