Wednesday, January 5, 2011


The Umbrellas - Japan-USA, 1984-91

"Christo and Jeanne-Claude prepared for their next project, "The Umbrellas". The plan was to have yellow umbrellas set up in California and blue umbrellas in Japan at the same time. In December 1990, after much preparation, the first steel bases for the umbrellas were installed. At the bases 80 cm long anchors were fastened to the ground to withstand tensions of 1,500 kgf (15 kN). In September 1991 the umbrellas were brought to their places by 2,000 workers. In California, some of the bases were transported to the site by helicopter. The final cost of the project totaled $26 US million. By 7 September, 1,340 blue umbrellas in Ibaraki and 1,760 yellow umbrellas at the Tejon Ranch in southern California had been set up; the exhibition opened on 9 October 1991. In total, 3 million people saw the umbrellas, each measuring 6 meters in height and 8.66 meters in diameter. The umbrellas became a huge tourist attraction, finding use as everything from picnic spots to wedding altars. Two people died: A woman, Lori Mathews, was killed when one of the umbrellas hit her because of a wind gust, and a man, Masaaki Nakamura, was electrocuted while removing umbrellas when he came under a high voltage power line."[

Today's entry is my way of introducing the locale about which I'll write tomorrow. I'm borrowing Google images, having long ago lost the pictures we took when we visited during the short time Christo and Jeanne-Claude's exhibit was in place before it was dismantled prematurely after a visitor lost her life.


  1. I saw these and they were beautiful. Very interesting and a feeling like when you first see the windmills out in Palm Springs! Look forward to your blog tomorrow!

  2. Wow! I never knew about that particular installation of theirs--I'll bet it was beautiful, but how tragic that people were actually hurt! I'll look forward to your upcoming post.