Received as part of a gift by the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation to a consortium of five major art institutions, the Shunk-Kender Photography Collection at the National Gallery of Art Library's department of image collections documents exclusively the work of artists Christo and Jeanne-Claude.
Photographs depict the artists, project staff, visitors, works of art, and location views during the 1960s to early 1970s. The collection includes materials relating to a range of projects, and is particularly rich in documentation of two large-scale projects, Wrapped Coast and Valley Curtain.
Process and Participation in the Work of Christo and Jeanne-Claude presents the images from the exhibition held in the East Building Study Center in 2017. It begins with a selection of early documentary photographs for Christo, spanning the early 1960s in Paris to the beginning of the artists’ wrapping of public buildings in the United States. It then focuses on Wrapped Coast and Valley Curtain, depicting myriad details of preparation, construction, and final installation of the works, and the many people who worked on them and were fundamental to their successful completion. As these monumental projects were only temporary, the artists considered the documentary photographs an integral part of the record, and the images represented the projects in subsequent gallery exhibitions and publications.