A Colorful, Historical Look at The Republican National Convention

The 2020 Republican National Convention has become a virtual event due to the COVID-19 pandemic, just as the Democratic Convention had the week before. Here LIFE dips into its archives for a colorful look at what the GOP event was like when people could safely convene.

LIFE’s first major coverage of a Republican National Convention was in its issue of June 24, 1940. At that gathering in Philadelphia, the Republicans nominated Wendell Willkie for the tough and ultimately futile task of challenging the popular Franklin D. Roosevelt in the general election.

The Philadelphia Convention Hall teemed during the 1940 Republican National Convention.

(William C. Shrout/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Later years of LIFE’s coverage featured color photography that presented the delegates, their costumes and the spectacle in all their exuberance.

A crowd posed with a baby elephant during the 1956 Republican National Convention in San Francisco.

Leonard McCombe/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

The Cow Palace outside San Francisco hosted the 1956 Republican National Convention.

Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Vice President Richard Nixon made his way through a crowd of supporters during the 1956 Republican National Convention.

(Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Vice President Richard Nixon at the 1956 Republican National Convention in San Francisco, where they accepted their party’s re-nomination.

Nat Farbman/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

The 1956 Republican National Convention, which took place at the Cow Palace just outside San Francisco, re-nominated incumbent President Dwight D. Eisenhower and Vice President Richard Nixon. It was the first RNC to take place after that year’s Democratic National Convention, rather than before. After 1956, it became an informal tradition that the party holding the White House held their convention second.

Vice President Richard Nixon with his wife, Pat Nixon, at the 1956 Republican National Convention.

Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

An Eisenhower “Bandwagon” at the 1956 Republican National Convention.

Nat Farbman/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Vice President Richard Nixon waved to crowds at the 1956 Republican National Convention.

Leonard McCombe/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

A ‘welcome’ motorcade passed through San Francisco’s Chinatown for the 1956 Republican National Convention.

Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Women shook their pom-poms at the 1956 Republican National Convention.

Leonard McCombe/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Many of the color photographs taken during the 1956 RNC were shot by LIFE staff photographer Leonard McCombe. His beautiful frames imparted elegance to the sometimes-gimmicky qualities of a party convention.

LIFE photographer Leonard McCombe looked for captivating images at the 1956 Republican Convention in San Francisco.

Hank Walker/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

This boy’s suit was festooned with campaign buttons at the 1956 Republican National Convention.

Leonard McCombe/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

This woman’s “I Like Ike” sunglasses honored the star of the 1956 Republican National Convention in San Francisco.

Photo by Leonard McCombe/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

These ‘Ike’ dresses honored President Dwight Eisenhower at the 1956 Republican National Convention.

Leonard McCombe/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Women waved red pom-poms at the 1956 Republican National Convention.

Leonard McCombe/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

A delegate at the 1956 Republican National Convention in San Francisco.

Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

These ladies supported President Dwight D. Eisenhower at the 1956 Republican National Convention.

Ed Clark/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

This elephant let you know whose party it was at the 1956 Republican National Convention in San Francisco.

Leonard McCombe/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Eisenhower and Nixon went on to win the 1956 election, easily defeating Adlai Stevenson. Four years later Vice President Nixon stepped up to lead the Republican ticket, and he had no opponents for the 1960 nomination.

The LIFE cover from August 8, 1960, featured Richard and Pat Nixon at the Republican National Convention in Chicago.

Stan Wayman/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

The 1960 Republican National Convention in Chicago nominated Richard Nixon for president and former Senator Henry Cabot Lodge of Massachusetts for vice president. It was the 14th time Chicago hosted the RNC, more times than any other city.

Presidential nominee Richard Nixon greeted a supporter at the 1960 Republican National Convention.

Stan Wayman/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Outgoing President Dwight Eisenhower (with his wife Mamie) delivered a speech during the 1960 Republican National Convention.

Stan Wayman/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

During the convention Nixon promised in his acceptance speech that he would visit every state during his campaign.

“I announce to you tonight, and I pledge to you, that I, personally, will carry this campaign into every one of the fifty states of this Nation between now and November the eighth.”

These Nixon supporters wore matching dresses for the 1960 Republican National Convention in Chicago.

Stan Wayman/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

The 1960 presidential election was closely contested, and Nixon lost to the Democratic nominee, Senator John F. Kennedy. Some believed that Nixon’s convention promise of visiting every state—while Kennedy focussed on popular swing states—was one of the reasons that Nixon lost.

The July 24, 1964 cover of LIFE featuring Barry Goldwater with his wife Peggy at the 1964 Republican National Convention.

Bill Ray/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

The 1964 Republican National Convention was held in the same location as the 1956 RNC, the Cow Palace Arena outside San Francisco. The Republican primaries pitted liberal Nelson Rockefeller of New York against Conservative Barry Goldwater of Arizona. Goldwater secured the nomination for president, and New York representative William Miller received the nomination for vice president.

Goldwater’s winning of the nomination meant a change for the party, as described by LIFE in its July 24th, 1964 issue, with Goldwater on the cover:

In a crescendo that thrust Barry Goldwater into control, the Republican changed both its course and its nature. In flashes of anger and pathos, of bitterness and exultation – captured on these pages by the color cameras of LIFE photographers – the G.O.P. was seized by its unyielding right wing.

Gold coins rained down on delegates after Goldwater won the presidential nomination at the 1964 Republican National Convention at the Cow Palace in San Francisco.

John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Barry Goldwater and his wife Peggy received the presidential nomination during the 1964 Republican National Convention.

(John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

The Cow Palace Arena hosted the 1964 Republican National Convention.

Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

The 1964 gathering was the first in which a woman was entered for nomination at a major party convention. Maine Senator Margaret Chase Smith, a moderate Republican, placed fifth in the initial balloting.

Delegates at the 1964 Republican National Convention held signs supporting the candidacy of Senator Margaret Chase Smith for president; she placed fifth on the first ballot.

John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

The ‘Goldwater Girls’ waved signs during the 1964 Republican National Convention.

John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

This hat recognized the Arizona roots of nominee Barry Goldwater.

John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Barry Goldwater and his wife waved to attendees at the 1964 Republican National Convention.

John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Delegates and balloons filled the Cow Palace during the 1964 Republican National Convention.

(Photo Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Goldwater was an outspoken conservative and an opponent of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. Goldwater’s candidacy fueled several days of protests outside the 1964 RNC.

Marchers dressed as KKK members to condemn Barry Goldwater outside the 1964 Republican National Convention.

John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

The March for Equality took place outside the 1964 Republican National Convention.

John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

The March for Equality protested Barry Goldwater’s nomination outside the 1964 Republican National Convention.

John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Goldwater lost the general election to incumbent President Lyndon B. Johnson in a landslide, but his nomination contributed to the Republican party’s modern conservative movement.

Presidential nominee Richard Nixon (right) and Vice Presidential nominee Spiro Agnew shared the podium during the Republican National Convention in Miami Beach.

Mark Kauffman/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

The LIFE cover from August 16, 1968, featured nominees Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew after their convention win.

Arthur Schatz/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

The 1968 Republican National Convention took place in the Miami Beach convention center in Florida. As they had eight years before, Republicans nominated former Vice President Richard Nixon for president, and Maryland Governor Spiro Agnew was chosen for vice president.

An enthusiastic crowd greeted Richard Nixon standing at the 1968 Republican National Convention, Miami Beach, Florida.

Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

The release of balloons celebrated the nomination of Richard Nixon and Spiro Agnew, who took in the scene from the podium at the 1968 Republican Convention.

Photo by Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Though Nixon was the frontrunner during the convention, California Governor Ronald Reagan and New York Governor Nelson Rockefeller also received several hundred votes. LIFE’s coverage of the Miami Beach RNC was the most colorful yet. An article written by Paul O’Neil in the August 16, 1968 issue of LIFE details go-go music, ‘gaudy’ headgear, costumes, and even a Rockefeller showboat that moved up and down a river by the convention’s hotels.

A Rockefeller supporter on a showboat waved to a Nixon boat during the 1968 Republican National Convention, Miami Beach, Florida.

Lynn Pelham/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Governor Nelson Rockefeller signed autographs for supporters at the 1968 Republican National Convention, Miami Beach, Florida.

Lynn Pelham/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

California Governor Ronald Reagan was a rising star at the 1968 Republican National Convention, Miami Beach, Florida.

Lynn Pelham/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

This supporter of Nelson Rockefeller made sure to get noticed at the 1968 Republican National Convention, Miami Beach, Florida.

Photo by Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Despite enthusiastic fans, “Rocky” didn’t pull off the upset at the 1968 Republican National Convention, Miami Beach, Florida.

Photo by Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Uncle Sam stood tall on stilts during the 1968 Republican National Convention, Miami, Florida.

Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Republicans worked on their platform at the 1968 Republican National Convention, Miami Beach, Florida.

Photo by Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

These glasses featured a popular Nixon slogan at the 1968 Republican National Convention.

Lynn Pelham/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Leftover signs and trash in Miami Beach Convention Hall from the 1968 Republican National Convention.

Mark Kauffman/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

A friendly elephant carried the GOP message at the 1968 Republican National Convention, Miami Beach, Florida.

Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

A worker prepared a barrage of balloons at the 1968 Republican National Convention in Miami Beach, Florida.

Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Supporters of Ronald Reagan, who would win the presidency in 1980, at the 1968 Republican National Convention.

Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture © Meredith Corporation

This elephant gained elevation during the 1968 Republican National Convention.

Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

The Miami Beach convention hall hosted the 1968 Republican National Convention.

Grey Villet/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Ladies wore woven floral and grass hats at the 1968 Republican National Convention, Miami Beach, Florida.

Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Delegates at the 1968 Republican National Convention cheered for nominee Richard Nixon, Miami Beach, Florida.

Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Nixon defeated Democratic nominee, Herbert Humphrey, in the the 1968 presidential election. The election year was chaotic, marked by the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr., the assassination of Robert F. Kennedy, and widespread opposition to the Vietnam war. Nixon ran on a platform to “restore law and order.”

President Richard Nixon accepted a renomination at the 1972 Republican National Convention, Miami Beach, Florida.

Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

The 1972 Republican National Convention was supposed to take place in San Diego, but because of labor costs and scandals, the GOP changed course three months beforehand and decided to return to Miami Beach to re-nominate Richard Nixon for president.

The 1972 RNC set a new standard for party conventions, as it was a scripted media event with a schedule of speeches, setting the stage for the modern party convention.

First Lady Patricia Nixon spoke at the 1972 Republican National Convention, Miami Beach, Florida.

Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Supporters outside the 1972 Republican National Convention, Miami Beach, Florida.

Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

Richard Nixon’s daughters and their spouses— from left to right, Edward Cox, Tricia Nixon Cox, Julie Nixon Eisenhower and David Eisenhower—joined the party at the 1972 Republican National Convention.

Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation

A Colorful, Historical Look at The Democratic National Convention

The Democratic National Convention (DNC) has been held every four years since 1832. The convention is typically known for its pomp, with colored balloons and decorated hats, and plenty of cheering and yelling. Speakers from the party convey policy goals and the party officially declares its nominee for president.

With the Covid-19 pandemic necessitating social distancing, the 2020 DNC was designed in the form of shortened online programing. The digital format broke years of party tradition of gathering delegates in large arenas—including near the end of World War II, in 1944, and through the four DNC’s from 1960 through 1972.

Newspaper boys held up headlines noting the assassination attempt on Adolf Hitler outside the 1944 Democratic Club before the Democratic National Convention.

(Photo by Wallace Kirkland/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

LIFE staffers were sent to photograph national party conventions nearly every year they were held. The first major coverage of the Democratic National Convention appeared in the July 29th, 1940 issue. The article, “President Roosevelt Answers a Call to Run for a Third Term,” featured photographs of delegates and reporters at nightclubs where they “sought refuge from (a) dull convention.”

In later issues, LIFE published more color news coverage, so photographs of conventions through the 60’s show lively and patriotic displays of party nomination. The 1960 Democratic National Convention made it as cover news for the July 25th issue. It took place at the Memorial Sports Arena in Los Angeles, California. Senator Lyndon B. Johnson received the nomination for Vice President, and joined the Democratic ticket with John F. Kennedy.

Supporters of John F. Kennedy at the Democratic National convention, 1960.

(Howard Sochurek/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

The accompanying article in the pages of LIFE detailed John F. Kennedy’s efforts to receive the nomination. Several LIFE photographers attended to take photographs including: Ralph Crane, Edward Clark, Paul Schutzer, Hank Walker, and Howard Sochurek.

1960 Democratic Convention in Memorial Coliseum, Los Angeles, California.

(Hank Walker/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

John F. Kennedy arriving in California for the 1960 Democratic National Convention.

(Hank Walker/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

John F. Kennedy in the middle of a crowded room during the Democratic National Convention, Biltmore Hotel, California.

(Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Group of “Kennedy Cuties,” female supporters of John F. Kennedy, 1960.

(Hank Walker/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Accompanying the glitter and buttons were a group of female supporters for John F. Kennedy known as the “Kennedy Cuties.” The group wore matching pinstripe dresses, conspicuous hats and colorful buttons. They cheered on attendees and danced in a conga line at the airport for Kennedys arrival to the convention.

Presidential nominee John F. Kennedy beside his Vice Presidential nominee Lyndon B. Johnson, Democratic National Convention, Biltmore Hotel, 1960.

(Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

A paper mâché head of presidential nominee John F. Kennedy at the Democratic National Convention, 1960.

(Hank Walker/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Signs at the Democratic National Convention, 1960.

(Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Delegates at the Democratic National Convention, 1960.

(Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Kennedy won the 1960 election, defeating incumbent Vice President Richard Nixon. By the fall of 1963 Kennedy and his team were preparing for the upcoming presidential election. Although he didn’t formally announce his candidacy, Kennedy’s motorcade travels and appearances were used to sound out policy themes for another presidential run.

Kennedy knew the importance of winning over Texas and planned a trip to help sway voters there. On November 22, 1963, the President rode in an open top motorcade through downtown Dallas, when he was tragically assassinated. Two days later President Kennedy was laid to rest in Arlington National Cemetery. His funeral was attended by hundreds of dignitaries and televised to millions.

Less than a year after Kennedy’s death, 1964 DNC took place at Boardwalk Hall in Atlantic City, New Jersey. President Lyndon B. Johnson, was nominated for a full term and Senator Herbert Humphrey of Massachusetts was nominated for Vice President.

The 1964 Democratic National Convention in Jersey City Boardwalk Hall, New Jersey.

(John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Lynden B. Johnson during the Democratic 1964 Democratic National Convention.

(Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Hubert Humphrey, the Vice Presidential nominee, at the Democratic National Convention, 1964.

(Francis Miller/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith

On the last day of the 1964 convention, Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy introduced a short film in his brother’s memory. RFK was met with a standing ovation for nearly 20 minutes as the crowd cheered and yelled in adoration for him and his late brother. In addition to the short film, and RFK’s brief tribute, attendees were able to view memorial areas with photographs of President Kennedy.

Robert F. Kennedy on the phone at the 1964 Democratic National Convention.

(John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Jacqueline Kennedy (L) next to Claudia “Lady Bird” Johnson (C), shaking hands at the 1964 Democratic Convention.

(John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Convention attendees watching a tribute video to President John F. Kennedy, 1964.

(John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Convention attendees looking at memorial photographs of President John F. Kennedy, 1964.

(John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Robert F. Kennedy looking at tribute photos of his brother, President John F. Kennedy, during the 1964 Democratic Convention.

(John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Robert F. Kennedy looking at tribute photos of his brother, President John F. Kennedy, during the 1964 Democratic Convention.

(John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

People carrying an LBJ cowboy hat during Democratic National Convention, Atlantic City, New Jersey, 1964.

(John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Delegates at the 1964 Democratic National Convention.

(John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Signs at the 1964 Democratic National Convention.

(John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

A woman wearing a homemade hat supporting Robert Wagner for Vice President, 1964.

(Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Women wearing LBJ cowboy hats at the 1964 Democratic National Convention.

(Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Fireworks demonstration for the 1964 Democratic National Convention.

(John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Similar to the “Kennedy Cuties” at the 1960 DNC, Johnson had an all female group of supporters called the “Johnson Jersey Girls.” LIFE staff photographer Ralph Crane took photographs of the group dressed in matching dresses and enjoying rides at the Atlantic City boardwalk.

The “Jersey Johnson Girls” riding in a teacup ride at the Atlantic City boardwalk during the 1964 Democratic National Convention.

(Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

The “Jersey Johnson Girls” lined up at the Atlantic City beach during the 1964 Democratic National Convention.

(Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

The “Johnson Jersey Girls” on a ride at the Atlantic City boardwalk during the 1964 Democratic National Convention.

(Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Delegate banging symbols in support of LBJ during the 1964 Democratic National Convention.

(Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

In the 1964 election Johnson defeated Republican nominee, Arizona senator Barry Goldwater, in a landslide. Johnson’s full term as president established several civil rights passages, a “war on poverty,” and increased involvement in the Vietnam war. The increased military presence sparked a strong anti-war movement, which set the stage for the following election, in 1968.

The 1968 DNC was held at the International Amphitheater in Chicago, Illinois. Johnson’s popularity rapidly declined due to Vietnam war involvement, and as a result he announced he would not seek re-election. Several democratic candidates competed for the nomination. They included LBJ’s Vice President Hubert Humphrey, Senator Eugene McCarthy of Minnesota, Senator Edward Kennedy of Massachusetts, Senator George McGovern of South Dakota, Senator Edmund Muskie of Maine, and George Wallace, the Governor of Alabama.

Delegates holding signs to support Hubert Humphrey at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, Chicago.

(Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Hubert Humphrey won the nomination for President, and Edmund Muskie received the nomination for Vice President. The convention discussion revolved around Vietnam war involvement, and civil rights unrest. Riots in hundreds of cities followed the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. earlier that spring.

Antiwar signs at the 1968 Democratic National Convention Democratic, Chicago.

(Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Delegates holding signs to support Eugene McCarthy for presidential nominee at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, Chicago.

(Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Hubert Humphrey and Edmund Muskie accepting the nomination for President and Vice President at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, Chicago.

(Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

A delegate supporting Hubert Humphrey at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, Chicago.

(Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Man wearing a donkey hat at the 1968 Democratic National Convention.

(Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Supporters of Hubert Humphrey at the 1968 Democratic National ConventionDemocratic National Convention, Chicago.

(Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Humphrey supporter wearing a balloon hat at the 1968 Democratic National Convention, 1968.

(Ralph Crane/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Humphrey lost the 1968 election to Republican Richard Nixon, who promised to restore law and order in rioting cities and provide new leadership in the Vietnam war. Four years later, the 1972 Democratic National Convention took place at the Miami Beach Convention center in Miami Beach, Florida.

The convention nominated Senator George McGovern of South Dakota for President and Senator Thomas Eagleton of Missouri for Vice President. Eagleton was later dropped from the ticket and replaced by Sargent Shriver of Maryland.

Convention attendee wearing a hat with political buttons at the 1972 Democratic National Convention.

(Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

George Wallace supporter at the 1972 Democratic National Convention.

(Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

George Wallace supporter at the 1972 Democratic National Convention.

(Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Governor George Wallace being helped in his wheelchair at the 1972 Democratic National Convention.

(Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Gloria Steinem (in blue dress) beside Bella Abzug during the 1972 Democratic National Convention.

(Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Man wearing a George Wallace hat at the 1972 Democratic National Convention.

(Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection)

George Wallace Supporter at the 1972 Democratic National Convention.

(Bill Eppridge/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Humphrey lost the 1972 election to Richard Nixon in a landslide election, but the 1972 DNC implemented new delegate selection reforms. This became the first formal set of party rules for nomination procedure.

Remembering Civil Rights Heroes John Lewis and C.T. Vivian

The deaths of two of the nation’s most influential civil rights advocates came during a time marked by protests for police reform and racial justice, in the wake of the killing of George Floyd. John Lewis, 80, and Cordy Tindell “C.T.” Vivian, 95, both died on July 17, 2020. At the time of his death. Lewis was serving his 34th year in the U.S. House of Representatives. Vivian was an important minister and leader. A story about some of Lewis and Vivian’s work in the 1960s, as well as unique LIFE photographs chronicling those events is below.

John Lewis (R) seated during a discussion with other freedom riders while in the basement of Reverend Ralph Abernathy’s Church, Montgomery, Alabama, May 1961.

(Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

A Mississippi National Guardsman standing on a bus next to freedom riders Reverend C.T. Vivian (C) and Paul Brooks (R), as they traveled from Montgomery, Alabama to Jackson, Mississippi, 1961.

(Photo by Paul Schutzer/ The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Both John Lewis and C.T. Vivian were on the front lines of 1960’s racial justice reform. They were part of the original Freedom Riders and worked alongside Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. Vivian served as King’s field general and Lewis helped organized the 1963 March on Washington, where King delivered his historic “I Have a Dream” speech.

Several LIFE staffers photographed these early reform movements. Their images are extraordinary freeze-frames of the 1960’s fight for racial justice, capturing the passion and resilience of the activists and demonstrators.

Most LIFE photos taken of the 1961 Freedom Rides were never published. Many are from LIFE photographer Paul Schutzer who, four years earlier had photographed the Prayer Pilgrimage for Freedom March in Washington. He took photos of the riders while on the buses and in safe houses at stops on their routes.

LIFE photographer Joe Scherschel also captured scenes from the Freedom Rider’s trips, often photographing National Guard troops around the busses and the interactions the group had challenging “white only” sections within bus terminals. Scherschel and Schutzer’s photos are from the leg of the Freedom Rides from Montgomery, AL to Jackson, MI.

Reverend C.T. Vivian on a bus with the freedom riders traveling from Montgomery, AL to Jackson, Mississippi, 1961.

(Photo by Paul Schutzer/ The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

John Lewis sitting with other Freedom Riders while in a Montgomery Baptist church basement, 1961.

(Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

The Freedom Riders made a series of bus trips in 1961 to challenge segregated interstate travel through the South. The original group was made up of 13 activists (7 Black and 6 white) chosen by the Congress of Racial Equity (CORE). Their plan was to travel on Greyhound and Trailways busses from Washington, D.C. to New Orleans, Louisiana.

While driving through Southern states, they were met with violence from mobs of Klansmen and segregationists. Once, stopped at a bus station in Rock Hill, South Carolina, the group tried to enter a white waiting room together. John Lewis, then 21, was brutally attacked by a white police officer. Two of his fellow riders were also attacked and beaten. The Freedom Riders responded with non-violence and decided not to press charges.

Violence escalated as the group moved down to Alabama. The first bus was firebombed near Anniston. Klansmen ambushed the buses and nearly burned the riders alive. Similar violence occurred in Birmingham, where riders were dragged from the bus and beaten. At this point, the original Freedom Riders separated. Several flew to New Orleans to a rally, where they were scheduled to speak.

John Lewis continued on the rides along with several new group members from the Nashville Student Movement (NSM). C.T. Vivian was among the Nashville activists who replaced injured riders in Montgomery, Alabama. Vivian and Lewis were familiar with one another from having organized non-violent sit-ins and protests throughout Nashville.

The Greyhound bus station in downtown Montgomery became another site of white violence, so the Freedom Riders sought refuge in Reverend Ralph Abernathy’s First Baptist Church. Abernathy was also a leader of the civil rights movement and a close friend of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. On Sunday, May 21, 1961, more than 1,000 people and civil rights activists gathered in the church to show support for the Freedom Riders.

Rev. Ralph Abernathy delivering a sermon to activists and demonstrators taking refuge in his church, 1961.

(Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Rev. Ralph Abernathy (L) sitting with Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. (Center) while taking refuge in a Baptist church in Montgomery, 1961.

(Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

While white angry mobs gathered outside, Schutzer and Scherschel took photographs of the riders, demonstrators, and fellow-supporters. The images are powerful portraits of the relentless fatigue experienced by the Black community during these acts of violence.

Freedom riders sitting during a service in Rev. Ralph Abernathy’s Church, Montgomery, Alabama, May 1961. John Lewis is looking at the camera. From left to right: John Lewis, Carl Bush, Joseph Carter, William Mithcell, rest unidentified.

(Photo by Joe Scherschel/ The LIFE Picture Collection (© Meredith Corporation)

Freedom riders sitting during a service in Rev. Ralph Abernathy’s Church, Montgomery, Alabama, May 1961. From left to right: John Lewis, Carl Bush, Joseph Carter, William Mithcell.

(Photo by Joe Scherschel/ The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Women sleeping on a pew while gathered for the Freedom Riders in Montgomery Baptist church, 1961.

(Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Woman holding a sleeping child while sitting in support of the Freedom Riders at Montgomery Baptist church, 1961.

(Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Woman and her daughter resting in a pew while supporting the Freedom Riders at the Montgomery Baptist church, 1961.

(Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Girl leaning over a pew in the Montgomery Baptist church, 1961

(Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Portrait of Freedom Riders, in the basement of Rev. Ralph Abernathy’s Church, Montgomery, Alabama, May 1961. Pictured are, front row, from left: Allen Cason Jr., Frederick Leonard, Etta Simpson, William B. Mitchell, Ruby D. Smith, John Lewis, and Charles Butler; second row: Joseph Carter, Lucretia Collins, Patricia Jenkins, Carl Bush, Catherine Burks, and Paul E. Brooks; standing: Clarence Wright, Bernard La Fayette Jr., Rudolph Graham, and William Harbour.

(Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

The Freedom Riders met in the basement of the Rev. Ralph Abernathy’s church and got on the phone with Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy to call for help. Kennedy dispatched the National Guard, who used tear gas to disperse the violent crowd, and helped to escort the people inside the church to safety.

Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy during a press conference to discuss the violence facing the Freedom Riders, 1961.

(Photo by Ed Clark/ The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Freedom Riders Bernard LaFayette Jr. (L) and Lucretia Collins (R) standing and discussing with other Freedom Riders.

(Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Freedom Riders John Lewis (center with bandage), Clarence Wright, Bernard LaFayette Jr., and William Mitchell gathered in a circle, 1961.

(Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

The images of Lewis show his bandaged head, from wounds he received when he was beaten upon the group’s arrival to the Montgomery Greyhound bus terminal.

Demonstrators and activists gathered outside of Montgomery First Baptist church, while being protected from white violence and escorted by National Guard troops, 1961.

(Photo by Joe Scherschel/ The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

National Guard soldiers escorting supporters out of the Montgomery Baptist church, 1961.

(Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Freedom Riders getting into a National Guard truck to be escorted to a safe house in Montgomery, 1961.

(Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

After Kennedy’s troops successfully disbanded the mob, the Freedom Riders were loaded onto a National Guard truck and moved from the church to the safe house of Dr. Richard Harris. There, they continued organizing plans for the Freedom Rides, and rested before their next departure. Schutzer went with the Freedom Riders to the safe house and continued taking photographs. Below, a view of bandaged John Lewis speaking with other Freedom Riders.

A bandaged John Lewis (center left) discussing with Rev. Abernathy and other Freedom Riders at a Montgomery safe house, 1961.

(Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

John Lewis sitting with other Freedom Riders at a Montgomery safe house, 1961.

(Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

On May 24, 1961, after spending some time in the safe house, the Freedom Riders were escorted by the National Guard to the Montgomery Trailways bus station. The group, including John Lewis and C.T. Vivian, got on a bus that departed for Jackson, Mississippi. The troops Kennedy had sent in cordoned off streets and the station to protect the riders.

National guard soldiers patrolling around the Freedom Riders’ bus Montgomery, Alabama, 1961.

(Photo by Joe Scherschel/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Freedom riders standing at a bus terminal ticket counter to get tickets for their 1961 ride from Montgomery, Alabama to Jackson, Mississippi. Reverend C.T. Vivian (back center) facing Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. leaning against the counter.

(Photo by Joe Scherschel/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

National Guard troops protecting the Montgomery Trailways bus station so the Freedom Riders can make a safe departure to Jackson, 1961.

(Photo by Joe Scherschel/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

National Guard troops patrolling the Montgomery Grayhound bus terminal after violence broke out in response to the Freedom Riders’ demonstrations, 1961.

(Photo by Joe Scherschel/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Army and U.S. Marshalls outside the Montgomery bus station during demonstration by Freedom Riders, 1961.

(Photo by Joe Scherschel/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

The Freedom Riders’ bus pulling out of the bus terminal in Montgomery, Alabama, 1961.

(Photo by Joe Scherschel/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

National Guard soldier standing in front of the Freedom Riders’ bus, 1961.

(Photo by Joe Scherschel/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

The Rev. C.T. Vivian on a bus with the freedom riders traveling from Montgomery, Alabama, to Jackson, Mississippi, 1961.

(Photo by Paul Schutzer/ The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

National Guard members sitting in front of Reverend C.T. Vivian on a bus with the freedom riders traveling from Montgomery, AL to Jackson, Mississippi, 1961.

Photo by Paul Schutzer/ The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

Demonstrations of hate continued, including by the Lincoln Rockwell “Hate Bus.” Seen along the routes of the Freedom Riders, the bus was adorned with slogans supporting white supremacy. Groups of white men dressed as Nazis rode the bus to speaking engagements of civil rights activists and followed the Freedom Riders.

White men dressed as Nazis standing by a ‘Hate Bus’ to oppose the Freedom Riders, 1961.

(Photo by Joe Scherschel/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

View of the ‘Hate Bus’ adorned with white supremacy slogans to oppose the Freedom Riders, 1961.

(Photo by Joe Scherschel/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Upon arrival to the Trailways bus station in Jackson, Mississippi, John Lewis and C.T. Vivian were arrested along with other Freedom Riders. The violence in Montgomery drew worldwide attention and forced the National government to intervene with civil rights hate crimes.

Rev. C.T. Vivian stepping into the Jackson Mississippi Police car after his arrest, 1961.

(Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Jackson Mississippi Police officer standing by as the Freedom Riders step into custody after arrests, 1961.

(Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Jackson Mississippi police waiting outside Trailways bus station to arrest the Freedom Riders on arrival, 1961.

(Photo by Joe Scherschel/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Jackson, Mississippi police car waiting for the Freedom Riders outside the Trailways bus station.

(Photo by Joe Scherschel/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Freedom Riders Patricia Jenkins (Front left) and Ruby Smith (Center) being taken into custody by police officers during their arrest at the bus stop in Jackson, Mississippi, 1961.

(Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Freedom Riders Ruby Smith (L) and Patricia Jenkins (C) being ordered by a white police officer during their arrest at the bus stop in Jackson, Mississippi, 1961.

(Photo by Paul Schutzer/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

C.T. Vivian went on to join the executive staff of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference (SCLC) as the Director of Affiliates. He coordinated local civil rights groups and advised King while organizing demonstrations in Alabama and Florida.

John Lewis also continued fiercely with his civil rights activism. Two years later, he went on to help plan the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, which included King’s historic “I Have a Dream” speech. The march, which took place in August of 1963, was photographed by LIFE’s Francis Miller, Robert W. Kelly, and John Dominis.

Portrait of racial justice activists and organizers for the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, August 1963. Bottom right to left: Roy Wilkens, Martin Luther King, A. Philip Randolph, Cleveland Robinson, Whitney Young. Top row right to left: Walter Reuther, Floyd McKissick, Reverend Eugene Carson Blake, John Lewis, Rabbi Joachim Prinz.

(Photo by Francis Miller/ The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Civil rights activists standing arm in arm for the March on Washington, August, 1963. From left to right: John Lewis, Matthew Ahman, Floyd McKissick, Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Rev. Eugene Carson Blake, Cleveland Robin, Whitney Young, Roy Wilkens, Walter Reuther.

(Photo by Robert W. Kelley/ The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. accompanied by other activists for the March on Washington, August 1963. (John Lewis featured back left)

(Photo by Robert W. Kelley/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

A huge crowd gathered on the Mall between the Lincoln and Washington Monument during the civil rights March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, 1963.

(Photo by Robert W. Kelley/ The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Buses full of demonstrators unloaded passengers on the Mall for the March on Washington, August 1963.

(Photo by John Dominis/ The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Crowds at the Freedom March dipping their feet into the water of the Reflection Pool, August 1963.

(Photo by John Dominis/ The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Crowds gathered for the Washington Freedom March, August 1963.

(Photo by John Dominis/ The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation)

Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s First Wrappings, 1968

One of the most innovative and original artists of modern times, Christo, died at age 84 on May 31, 2020. His death came 11 years after the passing of his wife, Jeanne-Claude. Known as artists under a singular name, ‘Christo and Jeanne-Claude,’ they worked as one to create their eye-grabbing, large-scale site-specific installations.

Christo in front of his environmental installation “Corridor Store Front.”

Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

To commemorate Christo is to ponder an eccentric designer of architectural clothing. His projects with Jeanne-Claude, called wrappings, masterfully dressed buildings and monuments in an act that was both a makeover and a demolition. Although his most recent works made use of colored barrels, curtains, archways, and island extensions, his most iconic pieces deployed vast swaths of sheeting made from plastics and fabrics. The sheets, held up by miles of thick, prickly-strung rope, billowed in cascades and met at the cinches.

In 1968 LIFE staffer Carlo Bavagnoli captured Christo gracefully constructing his first large-scale wrapping project, and Bavagnoli also shot two other installations by Christo and Jeanne-Claude that same year. These photos capture Christo’s skill at highlighting both the physical and bureaucratic structures that surround public architecture.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s wrappings challenged the visual presence of public architecture by, as Art News put it in their tribute to the late artist, “deconstructing and reconstructing the way we think about those structures.” In effect, their sheets covered fine architectural details but highlighted building structure. Sharp juts of corners and smooth curves of domes became accentuated, while a new void of color and texture called on viewers’ memories to fill in the details of a building that was simultaneously on display but held hostage.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude bunched up plastic sheeting while constructing “5,600 Cubic Meter Package,” for Documenta IV in 1968.

Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

    The artwork was more than the finished product. Every step and challenge of a wrapping constituted the piece. Christo and Jeanne-Claude pushed back against the wills of city officials, insurers, and engineers to gain permissions. Exploring the restraints of these civil systems was part of the work. In 1972 Christo told the New York Times:

“For me esthetics is everything involved in the process – the workers, the politics, the negotiations, the construction difficulty, the dealings with hundreds of people… The whole process becomes an esthetic – that’s what I’m interested in, discovering the process. I put myself in dialogue with other people.”

  That process prevented the two from seeing through large-scale wrappings early in their careers. But in 1968, the Kunsthalle in Bern, Switzerland, became the site for their first large-scale wrapping. Wrapped Kunsthalle pushed their nearly decade-old proposals into reality, at last at their imagined scale.

The museum was a running start. During 1968, Christo and Jeanne-Claude embarked on five major projects that involved over 50,000 square feet of sheeting, and over 4 miles of rope. Bavagnoli shot three of these installations.

Wrapped Kunsthalle: Bern, Switzerland

Wrapped Kunsthalle was part of an international group show for the Kunsthalle museum’s 50th anniversary. A dozen artists participated, by presenting a variety of environmental works. Instead of showing something inside the halls, Christo and Jeanne-Claude cloaked the museum in 26,156 square feet of reinforced polyethylene. Christo said of the exhibition, “We took the environments by eleven other artists and wrapped them. We had our whole environment inside.”

Christo stood on top of the Swiss art museum, Kunsthalle, fastening rope and plastic sheeting around a pillar for his installation “Wrapped Kunsthalle,” 1968.

Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

Christo sidled over plastic on the roof of the Kunsthalle Swiss art museum so he could fasten rope for his installation, “Wrapped Kunsthalle,” 1968.

Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

Christo adjusted plastic sheeting on the Swiss art museum, Kunsthalle, as spectators walk by. The covering was part of his installation “Wrapped Kunsthalle,” 1968.

Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

Christo slid over plastic on the roof of the Swiss art museum, Kunsthalle, for his installation “Wrapped Kunsthalle,” 1968.

Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

Christo sat on a monument across the street from the Swiss art museum, Kunsthalle, so he could observe his installation work on “Wrapped Kunsthalle,” 1968.

Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

Christo, on the roof of the Kunsthalle Swiss art museum, adjusted rope for his “Wrapped Kunsthalle,”1968.

Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

Visitors moved through a slit of plastic sheeting from Christo’s “Wrapped Kunsthalle” to enter the Kunsthalle Swiss art museum. The museum was covered all but for one opening for visitors to move in and out, 1968.

Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

It took six days to wrap the museum, with help from an 11-person team. It was both an installation feat, and a bureaucratic one. Insurance companies refused to protect the museum while it was wrapped. In lieu of insurance, six security guards were hired to stand watch for potential fire and vandalism. The measure was so costly that the building was unwrapped after a week.

A panorama view of Christo’s “Wrapped Kunsthalle,” the Swiss art museum covered in plastic sheeting for an art show celebrating the museum’s 50th anniversary in 1968.

Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

Wrapped Fountain and Wrapped Medieval Tower: Spoleto, Italy 

A fountain and building facade at the center of town in Spoleto, Italy, was wrapped for the “Festival of Two Worlds,” 1968.

Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

In July 1968, while Christo was working on Wrapped Kunsthalle, Jeanne-Claude was in the town of Spoleto, Italy. The two had proposed wrapping the Spoleto Opera House for the Festival of Two Worlds, but they were denied due to fire laws. Instead, they wrapped a medieval tower landmark and a baroque fountain at the Spoleto marketplace.

With Christo in Bern and Jeanne-Claude in Spoleto, neither was able to see the other’s completed wrapping. But later in the summer, the two reunited and completed 5,600 Cubic Meter Package.

A medieval tower on the outskirts of Spoleto, Italy was wrapped for the “Festival of Two Worlds,” 1968.

Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

A fountain and building facade at the center of town in Spoleto, Italy was wrapped for the “Festival of Two Worlds,” 1968.

Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

5,600 Cubic Meter Package: Kassel, Germany

Christo stood in front of his installation “5,600 Cubic Meter Package” while it was being inflated. The installation was part of Documenta IV in 1968.

Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude completed 5,600 Cubic Meter Package as part of the contemporary art exhibition, Documenta IV in 1968. The installation was the largest ever inflated structure without a skeleton.

Its construction involved the two tallest cranes Europe had to offer, plus professional riggers, heat sealed fabric and a 3.5-ton steel cradle as a support base. Christo and Jeanne-Claude had a chief engineer, Dimiter Zagoroff, who created the base and helped coordinate the package’s inflation. The result was a striking display of collaboration and engineering work, the sort of which would continue through the rest of Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s lifetime of installation.

Christo and his head engineer, Dimiter Zagoroff, discussed the construction of the metal support base for “5,600 Cubic Meter Package,” 1968.

Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

Christo in front of a light illuminating night-time construction of the metal support base for “5,600 Cubic Meter Package,” 1968.

Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

Christo with his hand on plastic while observing the inflation of “5,600 Cubic Meter Package,” 1968.

Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

Christo watched while members of his team pulled plastic sheeting through the top of a rope casing for “5,600 Cubic Meter Package,” 1968.

Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

Christo laying out on the roll of plastic sheeting for “5,600 Cubic Meter Package,” his installation at Documenta IV in 1968.

Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

Christo worked with a construction team member to roll plastic sheeting so it could be slid into rope casing for “5,600 Cubic Meter Package,” 1968.

Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

Christo and his wife Jeanne-Claude shared a kiss during the installation of “5,600 Cubic Meter Package,” at Documenta IV in 1968.

Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

Christo and Jeanne-Claude discussed with their head engineer, Dimiter Zagoroff, the details of construction for “5,600 Cubic Meter Package,” during Documenta IV in 1968.

Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

Christo, Jeanne-Claude, and other members of the construction team, fastened the inflation tube around the metal base of “5,600 Cubic Meter Package,” for Documenta IV in 1968.

Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

Christo propped up a section of plastic sheeting during the inflation of “5,600 Cubic Meter Package,” for Documenta IV in 1968.

Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

The son of Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Cyril Christo, read a book during the construction work on “5,600 Cubic Meter Package,” for Documenta IV in 1968.

Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

Christo peered up at plastic sheeting during the inflation of “5,600 Cubic Meter Package,” for Documenta IV in 1968.

Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

Christo used a machine to heat a section of plastic used to seal up “5,600 Cubic Meter Package,” for inflation. The installation was part of Documenta IV in 1968.

Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

“5,600 Cubic Meter Package,” partially inflated during Documenta IV in 1968.

Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

Christo worked with his construction team to slide a large roll of plastic into rope casing of his “5,600 Cubic Meter Package,” for Documenta IV in 1968.

Photo by Carlo Bavagnoli/The LIFE Picture Collection © Meredith Corporation.

Details on each installation were compiled using Christo and Jeanne-Claude’s “Realized Projects” summaries on their portfolio website. 

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