Column Hug is one of a group of six columns that Indiana created between 1963–64. Originally masts of old sailing ships, the columns were later used in warehouses after the 1835 Great Fire of New York. Unlike his herms, no additional found materials were added to these works, they consist only of words painted in gesso around the perimeters of the columns. Some of the columns consist of a single word, others of different combinations of Hug, Eat, Err, and Die, the three letter words found throughout his work.
The columns were first exhibited at the Stable Gallery in his second one-man show in New York, Robert Indiana: New Art, May 12–30, 1964. They can currently be seen at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Wakefield, United Kingdom, in the exhibition Robert Indiana: Sculpture 1958–2018, March 12, 2022–January 8, 2023.