'Shuttlecocks' artist Coosje van Bruggen dies

Coosje van Bruggen, who helped create Kansas City's landmark "Shuttlecocks" sculptures outside the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, has died. She was 66.

News of her death in Los Angeles on Saturday was confirmed by her publicist. She had metastatic breast cancer.

The critic, art historian and artist was known for the colorful, oversized public sculptures she created in collaboration with her husband, Claes Oldenburg.

Almost every piece took a prosaic or playful object of everyday life and recreated it on a gargantuan scale. The "Shuttlecocks" were installed at the Nelson in 1994. They first generated the sort of controversy that often greets unconventional public art, but have largely been embraced by the community as one of Kansas City’s iconic sights.

The 18-foot-tall shuttlecocks followed the giant, four-story tall "Flashlight" installed at the University of Las Vegas in 1981.

She met Oldenburg, the more celebrated Swedish-born artist, at the Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam and they married in 1977. She was 13 years his junior.