Running Fence

Sonoma and Marin Counties, California
1972-76

Running Fence: 18 feet (5.5 meters) high, 24.5 miles (39.4 kilometers) long, extending east-west near Freeway 101, north of San Francisco, on the private properties of 59 ranchers, following the rolling hills and dropping down to the Pacific Ocean at Bodega Bay. The Running Fence was completed on September 10, 1976.

The art project consisted of 42 months of collaborative efforts, the ranchers’ participation, 18 public hearings, three sessions at the Superior Courts of California, the drafting of a 450-page Environmental Impact Report and the temporary use of the hills, the sky and the ocean.

All expenses for the temporary work of art were paid by Christo and Jeanne-Claude through the sale of studies, preparatory drawings and collages, scale models and original lithographs. The artists do not accept sponsorship of any kind.

Running Fence was made of 2,152,780 square feet (200,000 square meters) of heavy woven white nylon fabric, hung from a steel cable strung between 2,050 steel poles (each 21 feet/6.4 meters long, 3.5 inch/8.9 cm in diameter) embedded 3 feet (91 centimeters) into the ground, using no concrete and braced laterally with guy wires (90 miles/145 kilometers of steel cable) and 14,000 earth anchors. The top and bottom edges of the 2,050 fabric panels were secured to the upper and lower cables by 350,000 hooks.

All parts of Running Fence’s structure were designed for complete removal and no visible evidence of Running Fence remains on the hills of Sonoma and Marin Counties.

As it had been agreed with the ranchers and with county, state and federal agencies, the removal of Running Fence started 14 days after its completion and all materials were given to the ranchers.

Running Fence crossed 14 roads and the town of Valley Ford, leaving passage for cars, cattle and wildlife. It was designed to be viewed by following 40 miles (64 kilometers) of public roads, in Sonoma and Marin Counties.

Running Fences (Project for the West Coast of USA)
Christo
Running Fences (Project for the West Coast of USA)
Collage 1972
22 x 28" (56 x 71 cm)
Pencil, charcoal, wax crayon, fabric and staples
Private collecion
Photo: Archive
© 1972 Christo
Running Fence (Project for Marin Sonoma County - California)
Christo
Running Fence (Project for Marin Sonoma County - California)
Collage 1973
14 x 10 5/8" (35.5 x 27 cm)
Pencil, fabric, photograph by Harry Shunk, wax crayon and technical data
Photo: Shunk-Kender
© 1973 Christo
Running Fence (Project for Sonoma County and Marin County, State of California)
Christo
Running Fence (Project for Sonoma County and Marin County, State of California)
Drawing 1975
28 x 22" (71 x 56 cm)
Pencil, charcoal and ball-point pen
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1975 Christo
Running Fence (Project for Sonoma County and Marin County, State of California)
Christo
Running Fence (Project for Sonoma County and Marin County, State of California)
Drawing 1975 in two parts
15 x 96" and 42 x 96" (38 x 244 cm and 106.6 x 244 cm)
Pencil, charcoal, acrylic paint, topographic map, ballpoint pen, technical data and tape
Photo: André Grossmann
© 1975 Christo
Ref. # 8
Running Fence (Project for Sonoma and Marin Counties, California)
Christo
Running Fence (Project for Sonoma and Marin Counties, California)
Drawing 1976
65 x 42" (165 x 106.6 cm)
Pencil, charcoal and ballpoint pen
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., USA (Part of the Running Fence Documentation Exhibition)
Photo: André Grossmann
© 1976 Christo
Running Fence (Project for Marin County and Sonoma County, State of California)
Christo
Running Fence (Project for Marin County and Sonoma County, State of California)
Drawing 1976 in two parts
15 x 96" and 42 x 96" (38 x 244 cm and 106.6 x 244 cm)
Pencil, charcoal, elevation profile blueprint and technical data
Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C., USA (Part of the Running Fence Documentation Exhibition)
Photo: André Grossmann
© 1976 Christo
Running Fence (Project for Marin and Sonoma Counties, State of California)
Christo
Running Fence (Project for Marin and Sonoma Counties, State of California)
Drawing 1976 in two parts
15 x 96" and 42 x 96" (38 x 244 cm and 106.6 x 244 cm)
Pencil, pastel, charcoal, wax crayon, topographic map, technical data, tape and ballpoint pen
Photo: Eeva-Inkeri
© 1976 Christo
Ref. # 17
Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1976 Christo
Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1976 Christo
Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1976 Christo
Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1976 Christo
Jeanne-Claude during the installation of Running Fence
Jeanne-Claude during the installation of Running Fence
1976
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1976 Christo
Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76
Photo: Still from the film "Running Fence" by Albert and David Maysles and Charlotte Zwerin
© 1976 Christo
Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1976 Christo
Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76
Photo: Gianfranco Gorgoni
© 1976 Christo
Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1976 Christo
Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1976 Christo
Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76
Photo: Jeanne-Claude
© 1976 Christo
Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1976 Christo
Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1976 Christo
Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1976 Christo
Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1976 Christo
Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76
Christo and Jeanne-Claude
Running Fence, Sonoma and Marin Counties, California, 1972-76
Photo: Wolfgang Volz
© 1976 Christo