New York State Museum Opens New York Remembers: Commemorating 10th Anniversary of the World Trade Center (WTC) attack

The New York State Museum commemorates the 10th anniversary of the World Trade Center (WTC) attack with a new multi-faceted exhibition and new additions to Museum galleries that present the many ways this monumental event has been documented and depicted a decade later.

The Museum is one of 30 sites statewide that are opening “New York Remembers” exhibitions to recognize the anniversary. Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced the exhibitions as part of a statewide effort to “remember the day the world changed for all of us” The State Museum and the governor’s office organized the exhibitions, which feature timelines depicting the events of September 11, 2001 and historical artifacts from the collections of the Museum and the National September 11 Memorial & Museum. Support for the development of the WTC timelines was provided by RBC Wealth Management and RBC Capital Markets.

The Museum’s exhibition – “Reflecting on September 11, 200” – will be open September 9, 2011 through April 28, 2012 and will be open on Sunday, September 11 to commemorate the 10th anniversary. Two parts of the exhibition will be in West Gallery. One will focus on the creations of artists who worked in the World Trade Center towers prior to 9/11, and the other will be a multi-media film installation depicting the aftermath of the attacks and how an artist and filmmaker chose to respond. On the walls outside of West Gallery there will be a photography display, as well as an original mural, depicting first responders. There also will be new artifacts and updates added to the permanent exhibition, The World Trade Center: Rescue Recovery Response, and elsewhere in the Museum.

“Ten years ago New York lost a piece of its heart, but we showed the world our courage and compassion” said State Education Commissioner John B. King Jr. “The new exhibition and the Museum’s permanent World Trade Center exhibition are tangible, physical evidence that takes what happened on that day off the pages of the textbooks and makes it a part of us. The Regents and I thank Governor Cuomo and the National September 11 Memorial and Museum, for helping bring this exhibit to life.”

Before the Fall: Remembering the World Trade Center will display 40 works by 13 artists who were part of a residency program at the World Trade Center from 1997 through September 10, 2001, which was created by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council (LMCC). In late summer of 2001, 25 artists started their residencies in the North Tower (WTC 1) on the 91st and 92nd floors. As events on September 11 unfolded, one artist lost his life, one would escape from the 91st floor and almost all of them lost irreplaceable works of art. Before the Fall includes works that were recreated after being lost, as well as new works created in response to the attacks. They not only document the experience of the artists working in the World Trade Center but also provide a memory of a place that no longer exists.

A multi-film installation – the cedarliberty Project – includes 100 hours of footage shot by artist Elena del Rivero, whose studio-home directly across from the World Trade Center was badly damaged during the collapse of the towers. The footage was shot both inside and outside of del Rivero’s studio. The resulting film installation – created in collaboration with filmmaker Leslie McCleave – reflects the enormity of the tragedy’s aftermath.

Documenting a Decade: From September 11, 2001 to Today, in West Hall, will showcase photographs submitted by the public that document the post-9/11 world. All of the photographs submitted for this exhibition will be available on Flickr.

Also in West Hall is a mural depicting first responders at Ground Zero, created by artist Chris Stain as part of the Living Walls project. The goal of Living Walls is to raise awareness about the use of public space. It is designed to celebrate and expand the role of art in the revitalization of our communities. In conjunction with the symposium, artists from around the world will be creating murals throughout Albany. Stain grew up writing graffiti in Baltimore, MD in the mid 1980s. Through printmaking in high school he adapted stenciling techniques, which later led to his work in street stencils and urban contemporary art.

A 28-foot-by-9 foot trailer, which was used by family members of WTC victims at ground zero, will be on display in Adirondack Hall. The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey installed this trailer in the early summer of 2002 to provide the families with a private space to view the recovery operation. The trailer became a place of comfort where family members left photographs, cards, sympathy posters, and other objects of remembrance. Initially located at the south end of the World Trade Center, the trailer was moved several times to accommodate construction at the site. During one of the relocations, the original trailer was replaced by a smaller one. The family members installed the memorial objects in the new trailer. Last year, the trailer was removed from the site to be stored by the Port Authority with other artifacts from the World Trade Center.

In the Museum’s permanent World Trade Center exhibition visitors will be able to use iPads to access videos, images and recorded oral histories documenting the personal experiences of some of those whose lives were touched by the events of September 11, 2001. Survivors, family members of those who died, and rescue and recovery workers, share powerful stories that evoke the moments of the day and aftermath.

There also are new artifacts in the Response section of the exhibition, which show how the world reacted to the 9/11 attacks with an unprecedented outpouring of sympathy. Items include a tapestry, 22.5 x 144.5 inches, made by Yvonne (Breitmar) Renner and Andreas Renner of Germany, while they were students at the German University of Pedagogy. Also on display will be a rug made by Afghan rug weavers, a police patch from Peru, and an Australian flag left on a fence around the former World Trade Center site. There also will be a banner constructed by Japanese elementary school students and Japanese peace cranes that were left as keepsakes at the Tribute WTC Visitor Center.

With more than 2,000 artifacts, the State Museum is the world’s largest repository of objects recovered from the World Trade Center site after September 11, 2001. They are rotated through the Museum’s permanent World Trade Center exhibition, which opened in September 2002. The Museum also supports other institutions nationwide and around the world with their World Trade Center-related exhibitions. The Museum’s exhibition is online at

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