New-York Historical Society Observes the 15th Anniversary of September 11th
with Special Installation
World Trade Center Four Decades: Photographs by Camilo José Vergara
On View for a Limited Time: Now Through Late September
NEW YORK, NY, September 1, 2016―In remembrance of the tragic events of September 11, 2001 that changed New York and the United States’ history forever, the New-York Historical Society presents a special installation featuring the time-lapse photography of National Humanities Medal honoree Camilo José Vergara. On view until late September, World Trade Center Four Decades: Photographs by Camilo José Vergara documents the ever-evolving landscape of lower Manhattan and the powerful role the World Trade Center has played in New York City’s identity.
This unique special installation of 30 time-lapse photographs examines the World Trade Center from every point of the compass, chronicling its changes over time―from the early days of the Twin Towers’ construction in the 1970s, to their dominance of the skyline in the 1980s and 1990s, to the emptiness of the city’s horizon in the aftermath of the events of 2001, to the slow rebuilding process that followed. Employing a method he developed of photographing the same site over a period of time, Vergara captures the transformation of an urban space, giving visitors the opportunity to reflect on their own memories of the World Trade Center.
Within days of the World Trade Center disaster in 2001, the New-York Historical Society started collecting artifacts related to the Center’s creation, the events of September 11th, and the rescue effort and public mourning that followed. Over the years, New-York Historical has presented a wide array of exhibitions and public programs offering diverse commentary on the meaning of the World Trade Center, the September 11th tragedy, and its aftermath.
Camilo José Vergara was named a MacArthur Foundation Fellow in 2002 and received a Berlin Prize Fellowship in 2010. In 2013, he became the first photographer to be awarded the National Humanities Medal. He is the author of numerous books, including Silent Cities: The Evolution of the American Cemetery, The New American Ghetto, and Harlem: The Unmaking of a Ghetto. Later this year, University of Michigan Press will publish Vergara’s newest book Detroit Is No Dry Bones: The Eternal City of the Industrial Age, a photographic record of almost three decades of Detroit’s changing urban fabric. Vergara’s time sequences of the transformation of the World Trade Center site are being presented simultaneously in an exhibition at the National Building Museum, online at the Library of Congress, and as a slideshow at the New-York Historical Society.
About the New-York Historical Society
The New-York Historical Society, one of America’s pre-eminent cultural institutions, is dedicated to fostering research, presenting history and art exhibitions, and public programs that reveal the dynamism of history and its influence on the world of today. Founded in 1804, New-York Historical is the oldest museum in New York City. New-York Historical has a mission to explore the richly layered political, cultural, and social history of New York City and State and the nation, and to serve as a national forum for the discussion of issues surrounding the making and meaning of history. For more information, visit: www.nyhistory.org.
Photo credit: Camilo José Vergara. View of the WTC from Exchange Place, Jersey City, 1989.
Camilo José Vergara. View of the WTC from Exchange Place, Jersey City, 2014.