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Shunk-Kender Photography Collection

Harry Shunk (left) and János Kender

Left: Harry Shunk (left) and János Kender at a dinner for artist Lucio Fontana at La Coupole in Montparnasse, Paris, 1961. Photograph: Shunk-Kender © J. Paul Getty Trust, Getty Research Institute, Los Angeles (2014.R.20), Gift of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation in memory of Harry Shunk and János Kender.

Right: Christo and Jeanne-Claude on-site during construction of Valley Curtain, Rifle, Colorado, 1970 – 72, 1972, gelatin silver print, Shunk-Kender Photography Collection, Department of Image Collections, National Gallery of Art Library, Gift of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation in memory of Harry Shunk and János Kender. © Christo. Photograph: Shunk-Kender © J. Paul Getty Trust. All Rights Reserved

From 1958 to 1973, Harry Shunk (German, 1924–2006) and János Kender (Hungarian, 1938–2009)—known collectively as Shunk-Kender, a partnership based initially in Paris and later in New York City — photographed the major European and American artists, studios, performances, and exhibitions of the time.

Between 2008 and 2012, the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation acquired the Harry Shunk Archive, which included the photograph and negative collection of Shunk-Kender as well as Harry Shunk’s individual work. After organizing, digitizing, and cataloging the archive, the foundation donated the material in 2014 to a consortium of five institutions: the Getty Research Institute (Los Angeles), Centre Pompidou (Paris), Tate (London), Museum of Modern Art (New York), and National Gallery of Art (Washington).

The portion of the Shunk-Kender Photography Collection received by the department of image collections in the National Gallery of Art Library encompasses 2,460 photographs with related digital images, and documents solely the work of Christo (b. 1935) and Jeanne-Claude (1935–2009), with whom the photographers worked closely throughout their partnership.

Unless otherwise noted, all photographs are gelatin silver prints, Department of Image Collections, National Gallery of Art Library. Gift of the Roy Lichtenstein Foundation in memory of Harry Shunk and János Kender.  © Christo. Photographs: Shunk-Kender © J. Paul Getty Trust. All Rights Reserved.