In 1958, Christo wrapped a can of paint in his studio and hung it on a
rope from the ceiling. He later said he didn't know why he did it.
He began wrapping lots of different things. I remember seeing a
wrapped picture hung on the wall of an exhibit. You couldn't see what
the picture was, of course.
In 1969, Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude began working as an artistic
duo and wrapped a section of the
coastline of Little Bay, Australia, with one million square feet of
white nylon, below.
Their "Valley Curtain" in Rifle, Colorado, was first strung across the
Grand Hogback Canyon in 1971, but the wind blew it to shreds. In
the following year, he and his wife successfully hung the 365 foot-long
In 1974, they received permission to wrap a segment of ancient Roman
Wall, in Aureliane, Rome, 51 feet tall by 1,100 feet long, below.
Then in 1976, Christo and Jeanne-Claude began to hang "The Running Fence"
in Marin and Sonoma Counties, north of San Francisco. It would be
18 feet tall and 24 miles long.
We would go often to the Fence, and once came away with a sample of the
NOTE: You can see lots more of the "Running
Fence" in the "Time-Line, 1976" off our Main Menu.
In 1978, Christo and Jeanne-Claude wrapped 4.5 kilometers of walkways in
the Loose Park, in Kansas City, Missouri, below.
My friend, Ellin Stein, traveled to Biscayne Bay, Miami, Florida, to see
Christo and Jeanne-Claude's "Surrounded Islands" in 1985. She
brought me back some souveneers, below.
After years of negociactions with the French government, Christo and
Jeanne-Claude were permitted to wrap an ancient bridge in the center of
Paris, the famous Pont Neuf, below, 1985.
My friend, Maria Manhattan, was lucky enough to travel there to see it.
She took lots of pictures and brought back some sample souveneers, below.
To cross the bridge, you had to walk on the cloth. It even
attracted some graffiti, below.
Then in 1991, Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude produced "The Umbrellas"
project in Bakersfield, California, installing 1,760 yellow octagonal
umbrellas, each 19 feet tall by 28 feet diameter, below.
Dottie had to see it, of course.
With Karolyn Kiisel and her kids, we made a nice picnic under one of the
umbrellas, below. Again, we got some sample souveneers and I did a
And a nice, little key chain.
"The Umbrellas" was actually a joint project in the United States and in
Ibaraki, Japan, where 1,340 blue umbrellas were installed.
In 1995, Christo and Jeanne-Claude wrapped the German parliament
building, the Reichstad in Berlin, with over one million square feet of
"silver polypropylene" fabric, below.
The City of New York finally permitted Christo and Jeanne-Claude to
install "The Gates" in February of 2005 (February in New York???), which
consisted of 7,500 safron colored fabric gates spread through Central
Park, just three blocks from my friend Maria's apartment. She and
her friend, Merry, went often.
Maria took lots of pictures, of course, from the first installation to
She ran into Christo and Jeanne-Claude twice, she told me.
NOTE: See lots more of Maria's pictures and
read her great essay "The Gates Are Glorious," in "A Collective
Chronology" off our Main Menu.
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Then, too, Christo and Jeanne-Claude have lots of projects which either
never happened or are still in the planning stages. Below, wrapped
trees on the Champs Elysee, Paris, 1969.
"Two Lower Manhattan Wrapped Buildings," New York, 1979, below. I
can hardly wait!
"Otterio Mastaba" project for the United Arab Emirates, of 390,000 oil
drums, 1973, below.
I liked that one so much I did a drawing of it myself, below.
* * *
In 1978, Christo was featured in Charles Schultz' "Peanuts" comic strip,
below. Christo liked it so much he wrapped a dog house and gave it
to the Charles Schultz Museum in Santa Rosa, California.
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