2008: Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Environmental Artists

Husband and wife duo Christo and Jeanne-Claude created environmental works of art that were displayed across Europe and the United States. The couple gained fame for creating large-scale, site-specific pieces that were formed by wrapping landmark buildings, landscapes, and industrial pieces in vast amounts of fabric. The wrapping of the Reichstag in Berlin and the Pont Neuf bridge in Paris are among their most famous European creations. In the United States, their notable public works include the 24-mile-long Running Fence in California’s Sonoma and Marin Counties and The Gates in New York City’s Central Park.

In recognition of the diplomacy behind these iconic large-scale art installations, the artists received the Great Negotiator Award in 2008. The construction of many of these pieces involved complex and often relentless negotiations. Over the years, Christo and Jeanne-Claude successfully negotiated with city governments, neighborhood groups, business interests, and others around the world to bring their ideas to life.

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