Visited the 9/11 Museum on Friday night. Wandering the halls there was powerfully, meaningfully difficult. The images, feelings, and audio recordings that you walk through and among were staggering in their impact, and ricochet like an emotional pinball through your entire being—head, heart and gut.
The museum is well done–beautiful, sorrowful, eloquent, uplifting and soaked in emotion. The vaulting architecture, and the sense of being deep in that ground, where the buildings once stood, feels overwhelming, just like the enormity of that day itself.
The sweep and space of the place lends itself to the echo chamber of your emotions. It is possible there, I think, to be amongst a crowd, and also totally alone with your thoughts.
The Faces of Ground Zero portrait project is a small part of the current displays. The original Giant Polaroids have yet to be rolled out onto the floor. This is very much a work in progress. As Jan Ramirez, the Chief Curator, who has done a amazing job at shepherding all these physical representations of memory into this one place said to me a couple weeks ago, most museums have months of “soft openings,” offering limited access to the public. Problems and bugs can be worked out with the advantage of time. With this one, as she said, “We just turned the lights on and opened the doors.”
I need to take this blog to thank those who have been steadfast in their support of the Giant Polaroid collection over the years, and have helped me keep this enormous group (about 10 tons) of pictures together and preserved.
Many heartfelt thanks to Adorama Camera. When Jeff Snyder introduced me to Harry Drummer at the camera store, a relationship started. They have been steadfast for years now in helping to support the collection, all of it done on a handshake with Harry. I am proud to be associated with the store.
And to Photoshelter…..Allen Murabayashi and Andrew Fingerman got together and sponsored two of the Giant Polaroids into the care and auspices of the museum, where they will remain, in perpetuity, at their behest, bearing the name of Photoshelter. Their faith in the project has been invaluable, and I thank them. Photoshelter has also been instrumental in the building of our new website, and thus have become a big part of our studio life. The assistance of Photoshelter on this journey is a representation of the best aspects of the photo community.
The Greek Archdiocese of NY sponsored the Giant Polaroid of Archbishop Demetrios into the museum’s permanent collection last year. It is good to know his image will be cared for in the years to come. It has been my honor to photograph the Archbishop over time, especially when he asked me to shoot his official picture for the annals of the church.
And thanks to the museum itself, with Alice Greenwald, Jan Ramirez and Amy Weinstein directing the collection process. This year they stepped forward on behalf of the images of Joanne and Danny Foley. The Foley’s are a firefighting family and, Tommy Foley was lost on 9/11, on this ground, which is now a remembrance for us all. It is fitting their pictures live here.
It has been a long and fraught path, but the destination of this museum has been worth it. More tk….