Published: August 19, 2011
One month after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the New-York Historical Society committed its resources to a new initiative called “History Responds,” with exhibitions, public events and educational initiatives.
Since then, the society has presented 17 special exhibitions relating to the attacks, and, when the society’s newly renovated headquarters reopens on November 11, a permanent installation of photographs and other materials donated by survivors, witnesses and rescuers will be included.
To commemorate the tenth anniversary of September 11, the New-York Historical Society will open its rotunda and a side gallery next month to present “Remembering 9/11,” which will open free of charge September 8⁁pril 1.
The exhibit presents a selection of several hundred photographs taken by professional and amateur photographers in the immediate aftermath of the attack on the World Trade Center (originally collected in the independent exhibition “here is new york: a democracy of photographs”), as well as letters written to police officers and firefighters; objects that were placed in makeshift shrines around New York; images and texts from The New York Times “Portraits of Grief” series; photographs of the Tribute in Light; and drawings of the National September 11 Memorial, designed by architect Michael Arad with the assistance of landscape architect Peter Walker.
“In the months immediately following September 11, 2001, the New-York Historical Society began a vigorous collecting initiative and exhibition program regarding the terrorist attacks,” the society’s then-president, Kenneth T. Jackson, said. “This was our responsibility, as the institution founded to gather, preserve and interpret materials related to the history of New York City and State and the nation. On the tenth anniversary of the attacks, it is important that the historical society is continuing this effort with ‘Remembering 9/11.'”
When the renovated and transformed New-York Historical Society opens fully to the public on November 11, “Remembering 9/11” will be joined by a permanent installation of photographs from “here is new york” in the Robert H. and Clarice Smith New York Gallery of American History. Approximately 1,500 photographs by 790 contributors will be on display, along with a large fragment of a fire truck destroyed during the 9/11 attack.
The society is at 170 Central Park West, between 76th and 77th Streets. For information, www.nyhistory.org or 212-873-3400.
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