Inside and Outside
Christo works with a group of students from SAIC to wrap the MCA—his first and only US museum wrap.
The wrapping took place—started in January, as I remember, of 1969. Christo had a whole group of students from the school of design of the Chicago Art Institute helping. And it looked like there was a fire on the street where the museum was. There was so much equipment there, and it did bottle up traffic. But eventually all of the fabric needed was ordered. It came in, and Christo and Jeanne-Claude supervised the wrapping.
Now, the museum was not wrapped up at the top. That was left open because the fire department of the city of Chicago insisted that it be that way. However, Christo added another touch to the museum. Jan and Christo only talked about Christo wrapping the outside of the museum. Christo, as a so-called gift to the museum, said that he would wrap the 2,000-some odd square feet inside.
He had always wanted to wrap a museum. I believe this is the only museum he got a chance to wrap, if you know what I mean. He’s done many other projects, but as a result of that, he had formed an attachment to the city of Chicago and he’s been back here quite a few times ever since.