Skip to Main Content

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania: Giant Glowing Paintbrush

Artist Claes Oldenburg (1929-2022) designed the 4-ton, 5-story public sculpture "Paint Torch," lit by synchronized LEDs.

Cherry St., Philadelphia, PA
Midtown, two blocks north of City Hall, on the southeast corner of Cherry St. and N. Broad St.
Glows at night. Local health policies may affect hours and access.
Save to My Sights

Visitor Tips and News About Giant Glowing Paintbrush

Reports and tips from visitors and Roadside America mobile tipsters. Some tips may not be verified. Submit your own tip.


Giant Glowing Paint Brush

This giant Claes-Oldenburg-designed paint brush stands 51 feet tall and is sticking out of Lenfest Plaza next to the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts. Our only disappointment is that we visited during the day -- and at night it is supposed to glow from internal LED lighting, thus its official name, "Paint Torch."

[Mike Gassmann, 11/02/2018]


Giant Glowing Paintbrush

The paintbrush pokes out towards the street, so it was neat to just be turning a corner and see the brush sticking out. The base of the brush is located in a nice little alley with benches where business people were eating their lunch, and hippies were hula hooping.

I've heard that the brush and paint light up, but when we visited it was around noon, so if they were lighting up, we couldn't tell.

[Danielle, 10/16/2011]

Paint brush.

Giant Glowing Paintbrush

Titled "Paint Torch," it's a 2011 example of gigantism from Claes Oldenburg, who's been supersizing everyday objects and calling it art since the 1970s. The brush weighs four tons, it's five stories tall, and it leans at a normally perilous 60 degree angle from where its handle is jammed into the sidewalk. On the pavement is a six-foot tall blob of "paint," and the paint on the brush and the paint blob are lit from within by synchronized LEDs. Oldenburg believes this suggests that the sculpture is "breathing."

[ Team, 08/24/2011]

Nearby Offbeat Places

Masonic Library and Museum of PennsylvaniaMasonic Library and Museum of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA - < 1 mi.
World's Largest Working Pipe OrganWorld's Largest Working Pipe Organ, Philadelphia, PA - < 1 mi.
Nude People Bridge SupportNude People Bridge Support, Philadelphia, PA - < 1 mi.
In the region:
The Coolidge Tree: More than a Name, Camden, NJ - 2 mi.

Latest Tips Across Roadside America

Catch up on the latest discoveries from the road.

Explore Thousands of Oddball Tourist Attractions!

Unique destinations in the U.S. and Canada are our special obsession. Use our attraction recommendation and maps to plan your next road trip.

My Sights

My Sights on Roadside America

Create and Save Your Own Crazy Road Trip! ...Try My Sights

Mobile Apps

Roadside America app: iPhone, iPad Roadside America app for iPhone, iPad. On-route maps, 1,000s of photos, special research targets! ...More

Roadside Presidents app: iPhone, iPad Roadside Presidents app for iPhone, iPad. POTUS landmarks, oddities. ...More

Pennsylvania Latest Tips and Stories

Latest Visitor Tips

Sight of the Week

Sight of the Week

Route 66 Experience: Metal Muffler Man, Springfield, Illinois (May 27-Jun 2, 2024)

SotW Archive

USA and Canada Tips and Stories

More Sightings