Robert ArnesonBreast Trophy
19 3/4 x 11 3/4 x 8 in.
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Museum purchase made possible by the Smithsonian Institution Collections Acquisition Program
That sagging female breasts can be called a trophy contradicts the idea of commemorative trophies. Robert Arneson's observation of human behavior and American cultural mores—that men and women have an obsession with female breasts—inspired this trophy and its pithy social comment. The artist also brings to our attention the discomforting truth that women are often turned into objects. The most evident example of this cultural phenomenon is the phrase "trophy wife." The title Breast Trophy transforms the piece into a witty visual pun.