christojeanneclaude

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Christo and Jeanne-Claude - Wrapped Museum of Contemporary Art and Wrapped Floor and Stairway, Chicago 1968-69 

Christo and Jeanne-Claude considered the building “perfect,” because “it looks like a package already, very anonymous. Its façade is a fake wall covering the original structure.” Although they had just wrapped the Kunsthalle Bern in translucent polypropylene, the artists decided “for aesthetic reasons” to shroud the Chicago museum in greenish-brown tarpaulin, which would give greater physical presence to the building and make a better contrast with the snow.

The wrapping commenced on January 15, 1969. Students from the school of the Chicago Art Institute of Design assisted for two days on the outside of the building, which was garbed in 10,000 square feet (930 square meters) of heavy tarpaulin and 4,000 feet (1,219 meters) of Manila rope. Every precaution was taken to assure the public’s safety. No exits were covered, no windows existed to cover, and small openings were cut in the tarpaulin to keep the building’s air vents unobstructed. To be doubly safe, the museum’s director, Jan van der Marck, prevailed upon Christo and Jeanne-Claude not to wrap the roof of the museum.