In past years, the museum has had numerous historical exhibitions, but this will be the first time it focuses solely on artwork. The show will be held in the special exhibits gallery, and it will be the first time this space has been used. The artworks will range in mediums, from painting and drawing to video and sculpture.
One of the works on display will be a bronze sculpture by Eric Fischl titled Tumbling Woman, on loan from The Whitney Museum of American Art. This sculpture was originally shown at the Rockefeller Center in 2002 where it was too painful for many viewers to look at and was eventually taken down.
Another of the works on display will be by Ejay Weiss and will mix ash from the site with black paint. The Blue Man Group – a New York-based performance group – is also showing a video in which papers fly through the air, reflecting the way paper blew from the twin towers down to their rehearsal space on September 11, 2001. The group also wrote a song in which they speak the words written on those papers that fell.
Incorporating art into the museum’s collection of historical artifacts is a way to potentially expand their audience. It also presents new perspectives on the attacks – not just the factual and the historical. Previously, the museum showed surveillance footage of the hijackers at the airport, posters about missing persons from the time, and other items that were often overwhelming for viewers to see. The museum’s director, Alice Greenwald, says the new art pieces are meant to be less intense for visitors. She hopes that the show will be more contemplative, and perhaps even show glimmers of hope that come from reflection.