Author: Jan Greenberg and Sandra Jordan
Reading Level: 4th to 6th grade
Publisher: Roaring Brook/Neal Porter
Edition: Hardcover, 2008
I am speechless and teary-eyed, reading and having finished reading this thrilling little biography of Christo and Jeanne Claude and of their art. Greenberg and Jordan did not disappoint — as always, their words are as vivacious and artistic as the artists they chronicle. One cannot help but being completely infected by the passion from all of those involved: the artists and the biographers.
And to this one, since it is something I deeply experienced, with friends, students, and family, my emotional reaction is even stronger. Between me and my husband, we took about 500 photos — both under a bright blue sky and in the snow, with the gates winding around and the fabric flapping wildly in the wind. In fact, when it was time for my then-kindergarten daughter to do her “hundred day” project, she chose to draw a tree with branches and then glue 100 miniature pictures from our collection as leaves — a Fall Tree, as she called it, because these were orange leaves. The artwork is still hung next to my desk at work.
(Hmm… I was slightly perturbed why there have not been more pictures of the Gates in this book, especially of the Gates when they were “in action and in motion”?)
The meticulous and artistic design of the book itself also echoes the free and playful spirit of Christo and Jeanne Claude. I applaud all who worked on this book! Thank you for a precious gift.
And I simply cannot help but posting a couple of the snowy pictures (the blue sky ones are on a DVD somewhere else…) — to commemorate a fabulous time in New York City:
And of course, my friend Monica Edinger had her class document the process on a web page. Go HERE to see!
And here’s a link to many more Central Park Gates Pictures by searching google images of simple: Central Park Gates.
5 responses to “Christo and Jeanne-Claude: Through the Gates and Beyond”
I loved, loved this book too for the same reasons as you and plan to feature it in a blog post in February during the anniversary of The Gates project.
When I was a teenager, Christo and Jeanne Claude lived in my Colorado town for most of two years while they worked on the Valley Curtain project. It too, was orange, which is why we're more likely to refer to it as the Orange Curtain. The most intriguing part of that experience was the way those two cosmopolitan artists (and their then 13-year-old son) interacted with the residents of our small rural town of 2500. Basically, although we didn't understand them or the project, we loved them. I'll have to buy this book.
Jude, you will not be disappointed. It has an amazing double spread of the Valley Curtain project. When I flipped open that page, tears just came rushing into my eyes. It is stunning! Really, imagine how many lives these two artistic souls have touched and enriched! I'm really grateful for the authors for documenting their lives for me, and for the young readers.
I just received the book from Amazon (I still live in that same town, so the nearest bookstore is 60 miles away). I might not have known about this title if it weren't for your blog, so thank you for reviewing it. I didn't see the curtain when it was intact because I was away at band camp, but they kept it up for a week after it tore, blowing in the wind, and I rode my bike under it, appreciating the way it turned everything (including me) orange. It truly was beautiful (as is the book). Thanks again for your review.
I've some of those pictures you've taken.
I can inmagine how touched when you read this book.
Good for you.