Lost World Trade Center Art
Friday, February 27, 2004
nagare's cloud fortress
"Masayuki Nagare's large public sculpture Cloud Fortress (1975) survived the collapse of the World Trade Center but was lost in the rescue and recovery efforts...."
A collection of slides from the wreckage - not necessarily art.
Wednesday, February 25, 2004
Cantor Fitzgerald contained some 300 sculptures and drawings by Rodin that are now lost
"As workers continue to clear debris at New York's ground zero, nearly four months after the tragic events of 9/11, an assessment of the human toll has resulted in a figure of approximately 3,500 killed. A clear appraisal of the damage to property, including art, has not yet been completed. According to Dietrich von Frank, president of the art insurance firm AXA Art, at least $100-million worth of art was destroyed in the catastrophe, including works from corporate and private collections that were installed in various office spaces in the Twin Towers. The offices occupied by the brokerage house Cantor Fitzgerald, for instance, contained some 300 sculptures and drawings by Rodin that are now lost. So far, the company has not issued a complete inventory of the collection or declared its value for insurance purposes....."
a pilfered rodin
I wasn't clear about the link on this so I printed this story in whole. It mentions the loss of the Cantor Fitzgerald Rodins:
"May 11, 2002 -- A portion of Rodin's "The Three Shades" (right) was found in the trade center rubble (above). One of his artworks - part of a collection at Cantor Fitzgerald - may have been stolen at the landfill. City Department of Investigation probers are pondering the possible theft of a statue by French sculptor Auguste Rodin from the rubble of the World Trade Center, The Post has learned. Securities firm Cantor Fitzgerald's offices high in the World Trade Center's south tower housed hundreds of works by Rodin - who's probably best known for "The Thinker." In recent days, DOI investigators have been showing workers at the Fresh Kills Landfill a photograph of a Rodin statue that was part of the Cantor Fitzgerald collection, sources familiar with the probe said. The agency hopes to determine if the statue somehow survived the terror attacks - only to be pilfered from the landfill by a city worker. "As far as we are concerned, the collection is a total loss," said Christiane Fisher, a spokeswoman for Axa, the French-based company that insured the Rodins. Carol Strickland, a spokeswoman for DOI, offered a terse "no comment" when asked about the probe, as did Julie Horn, a spokeswoman for Cantor Fitzgerald. But a Cantor source confirmed DOI did show Fresh Kills workers a photo of the Rodin sculpture to determine if it had been removed from the trade center rubble. "Your information is good," said the source. B. Gerald Cantor, one of Cantor Fitzgerald's founders, amassed one of the world's largest Rodin collections. The charitable foundation set up in his name says Cantor and his wife donated many of the works to museums and galleries around the world. About $5 million worth of Rodin art remained in the company's headquarters on Sept. 11, said Axa's Fisher. A number of NYPD Internal Affairs Bureau detectives have been recruited into the Department of Investigation's probe, said a senior-level police official. "This is all very recent," said the source. "From what I understand, they're not looking at any of our guys - they are looking at the possibility that it was a firefighter who took it." But a Fire Department spokesman said the department was unaware of the investigation. The senior police source cautioned it's possible someone took the Rodin statue from the dump without knowing its value. For months, investigators at Fresh Kills have been sifting the World Trade Center rubble, which is considered evidence of a crime.
Tuesday, February 24, 2004
studios in the sky
"Studios in the sky: World Views, a residency program at the World Trade Center, provided artists with a unique creative environment and studios with amazing vistas. Works by the last group of artists were recently on display at the New Museum of Contemporary Art in SoHo...."
A thorough description of the artists who had studios in the World Trade Center.
Thursday, February 19, 2004
the miro tapestry
I put this in because it highlights the rarity of the Miro Tapestry:
"The World Trade Center Tapestry of Joan Miró (Fig. 6) arrived in 1974. It was not really a commissioned piece. I had spoken with Miró about the possibility of doing a tapestry, and he had turned me down, saying: "When you do a tapestry, you really don't do it yourself, and I don't make any art where I don't use my two hands." Then he had a tragedy in his family. His daughter was traveling in Spain and was involved in an accident. She was taken to a hospital. Miró told the nuns who ran the hospital that, "Hopefully my daughter will recover, and if she does, I'll give you any art work that you would like." His daughter did recover, and the nuns asked for a tapestry. He said he didn't do any tapestries. They said, "We have somebody in our village who does tapestries. He'll teach you." So, Miró worked with this tapestry maker in their village, and he got to like it. He decided to practice, and he made about 20 little tapestries, some of which were shown in New York. Then I got a communication from his dealer in Paris saying, "Your World Trade Center tapestry is done." I said, "What?!" He said, "It's in the Grand Palais [in Paris] in Miró's retrospective, and it's yours if you want it, but he made it especially for the World Trade Center."
The tapestry was made out of wool and hemp and was large—20 feet by 35 feet. It was a unique piece, and after he finished it, Miró said, "It's too much work making tapestries. I'm not going to make any more." But then he got a call from the The National Gallery of Art in Washington, which had seen the World Trade Center Tapestry and wanted one for its new East Wing. So Miró did one more, and that was the last tapestry that he did. Ours hung in the lobby of 2 World Trade Center. You would have seen it on the way to the observation deck."
Tuesday, February 17, 2004
summary of losses
This is a fairly thorough summary of the losses, mentioning some pieces that I have not heard mentioned before. It again mentions the Cantor Collection.
a nice little essay
"Many workplaces are looking more and more like art galleries. New York's twin towers were a perfect example. The buildings and their surrounding plazas contained high-profile works by the likes of Joan Miro, Alexander Calder, and Auguste Rodin, as well as a sculpture memorializing the six people who died when the buildings were bombed in 1993. National Public Radio's Jon Kalish reported this week on a resolute quest by Saul Wenegrat, curator of the World Trade Center's vast art collection, to determine whether or not any of the commissioned art surrounding the towers -- in addition to the paintings, sculptures, and tapestries that filled the hallways, lobbies, and mezzanines of the two buildings -- had survived September 11 in any salvageable form. It appears much of this art was lost when the buildings fell, along with the life of one of the fourteen artists who had their studios in the buildings...."
Thursday, January 15, 2004
the cantor collection
I did a search on google: world trade center and rodin. I think I've done that before but I have not seen this site. I have not gone through the site thoroughly but it looks like they have the whole collection online.
Let me take a few days and break it down and not think too hard about the fact that it is all gone.
I have been looking everywhere for a list of the Cantor Collection - the 300 Rodins'. The teacher of a writing class that I'm taking mentioned that he had just been to this museum in Paris. I feel like the large pieces, that I have had no trouble finding pictures of, are great but I feel like these Rodins are the heart of the World Trade Center art collections.
I'm going to pursue the insurance records and information about Cantor Fitzgerald and information about Rodin.
[sorry for the stall.]
Wednesday, December 31, 2003
Go to this page and go through the photo gallery. This article talks about the artists wanting the damaged remnants to be displayed as is. The nine photo gallery presentation is very nice.
the sphere being placed in battery park
"The Sphere, created by German artist Fritz Koenig, had stood in the World Trade Center plaza as a monument to world peace through world trade since 1971.
But it was split and partially crushed by falling debris from the Twin Towers on 11 September.
It has now been restored and was dedicated to become a temporary memorial at 0846 local time (1346 GMT) - six months to the minute after the first plane hit...."
plaza sculpture photos
This page has photos of the main plaza pieces but is noteworthy for a before/after of Double Check by Seward Johnson, Jr. (1982). This is the sculpture of the lifesize reading man on a bench. The man appears to be intact with the bench being destroyed.
the lost museum
Mr. Cantor of Cantor Fitzgerald was the collector of the "museum in the sky":
"You’d be forgiven for thinking that the art world was among the least likely to have suffered losses in September’s attacks on the World Trade Center. Art is art and business is business. Art in New York lives in Chelsea, on 5th Avenue and on the Williamsburg
Bridge; business lives in Lower Manhattan. The WTC was a place for pragmatists, not 35th Street dreamers.
In a small but poignant way, though, you’d have been wrong. As has often been remarked, the WTC was a city on its own. Like any city, it had its own art scene, and its own place in art......"
a helpful report
This site has a Adobe Acrobat document that contains their report. It reports in generalities but has a lot of good info and leads. There is a picture of a Rodin foot remnant and other things. I'm going to go through it and follow up on what I can. I need reports that indicate specific pieces of art that I can follow up on and link to photos.
one of the lost rodins
This is a photo from a German website of a badly damaged Rodin. I'm not sure if it is one of the Cantor Fitzgerald 300 as I understand those to be miniatures.
Tuesday, December 30, 2003
some exterior sculpture photos
This page has a number of smallish photos. I include it because it has a Lichtenstein (Modern Head) that I have not seen previously.
cantor fitzgerald offices contained 300 Rodin sculptures
"The works of art destroyed by the 11 September attacks on the World Trade Center could be worth as much as $100m (£68m), according to the art insurance specialists AXA Art. This would represent the largest ever volume of art insurance claims after a single incident, the company said........"
"...It has put already put aside $20m (£13.5m) for its own art-related claims. But the total art losses could be worth much more - once claims from the surrounding buildings have been included. AXA president Dr Dietrich von Frank told the US-based Art Newspaper: The question is how much art might be in other buildings, or affected by the clean-up."....
"....One of AXA's principal clients in the buildings is known to have been brokerage house Cantor Fitzgerald, whose offices contained 300 Rodin sculptures, among other works. Artworks in the public areas of the towers included a painted wood relief by Louise Nevelson, a painting from Roy Lichtenstein's Entablature series and a Joan Miro tapestry...."
the art lost by citigroup on 9/11
"In the private offices there were the expected inexpensive corporate office prints by artists that are known to corporate curators but not to art historians. Every corporate collection seems to have some of these landscapes and floral images done in etching, lithography, and screenprinting, and they serve their purposes in the offices.
Altogether, one thousand one hundred and thirteen works of art were lost by Citigroup on 9/11." -Suzanne F. W. Lemakis Vice-President and Art Curator, Citigroup
This speech laments the lack of records for the art and a reminder to keep the records offsite. There are a few photographs of some minor pieces from the collection.
The World Trade Center Memorial, 1993
Elyn Zimmerman is the sculptor of the World Trade Center Memorial,1993, commissioned by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. The piece was destroyed on 9/11.
Louise Nevelson's Sky Gate, New York
"Louise had been contacted early on to do a piece, and she went through many different designs. None seemed to work out, and finally she came up with this wall piece. It was made up of over 35 separate sculptures that were put together to form this particular image. At the dedication, she said that her inspiration had come to her on a flight to New York from Washington. As she looked at the skyline of New York, this is what she perceived. Hence its name. A black painted wood relief, it was located on the mezzanine of 1 World Trade Center overlooking the plaza...." -Saul Wenegrat
an early estimate
"According to a report by Peter Marks and Carol Vogel in the New York Times, the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey had an art collection valued at $10 million on view in the public and private spaces in the World Trade Center. Among the larger public works lost in the destruction are a 25-foot-tall Alexander Calder stabile at 7 World Trade Center, a Louise Nevelson wood relief in the mezzanine of 1 World Trade Center and a Joan Miro tapestry in 2 World Trade Center. The Port Authority collection is chronicled in a hard-to-find book titled Art for the Public: The Collection of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. Many of the businesses that had offices in the WTC also had corporate art collections, whose contents have not yet been tallied."
artists with studios in the building
I post this because it mentions some of the other artists in the building that put together a tribute for Michael Richards. It also describes some of the other artists work, including a 'happening' involving lightbulbs and dancing.
sculpter michael richards was working in his studio
"It's unknown how much art was destroyed because much of it was
owned by private companies and kept in their offices. There were
also 14 with studios in the trade center. One of them,
38-year-old sculptor Michael Richards, died in the attack. He
had spent the past eight years working on a series of pieces
about the Tuskegee Airmen, the black pilots of World War II...." -NPR
There were 14 artist studios in the WTC.
Monday, December 29, 2003
alexander calder's so-called bent propeller
"The massive steel abstract as shown at right sat at 7-WTC at the Vesey Street overpass. Once standing 25 feet high, it was reduced to five pieces of steel by the WTC collapse, each piece more than Â½-inch thick. One of the pieces was folded back onto itself while another almost cut in two by a worker with a torch unknowingly....."
"Bent Propeller" was the adopted name of the piece. Calder's pieces have such a nice humorous quality to them. There is a large Calder in downtown Los Angeles that I have enjoyed.
a directory of tenants at the wtc on 9/11
This appears useful and sad.
james rosati's ideogram, 1967
By the way, if you go to a site and see a small picture of a given piece of art, click on the picture and you will generally be sent to a larger version of the picture.
insurance records of the private collections
"According to the Artnews Online and AXA Nordstern Art Insurance, the value of the lost public art is estimated at more than $100 million. Among the private art collections lost was a celebrated collection of more than 300 Auguste Rodin sculptures and drawings owned by the firm Cantor Fitzgerald, states the College Art Association."
Those types of numbers and records would be very helpfull to someone trying to do the sort of documentation I am attempting.
maya lin on the wtc from the new yorker
Slightly off subject, but it's Maya Lin!:
"I have fought very, very hard to get past being known as the Monument Maker," she told me shortly before we decided to take our walk. The Vietnam Veterans Memorial, dedicated twenty years ago, is the work with which Lin's name will be forever associated. In a career that, since then, has included houses, apartments, gardens, sculpture, landscape architecture, public art, a library, a museum, a line of furniture, a skating rink, clothing, two chapels, and a bakery, she has designed two other well-received memorials: the Civil Rights Memorial, in Montgomery, Alabama, in 1989, and the Women's Table, commemorating the admission of female students to Yale, in 1993. But two years ago, in "Boundaries," a book in which she reviewed her major works, she announced that she was retiring from the monument business. She had only one more memorial she wanted to make, she said: a work about the extinction of plant and animal species. Then came September 11th, and although she declined the requests for articles, sketches, and interviews, she couldn't get the problem of a memorial out of her head. "Extinction is the last of my memorials," she told me. "But I cannot stop thinking about the World Trade Center. I just can't....."
the plaza fountain
This is a prettty good shot of the Plaza Fountain. It's from a website that sells posters of the WTC. I just picked it becuase I thought it was a pretty good shot.
the ifar symposium on public art lost on 9/11
This article covers, with pretty good, enlargable photographs, the large public space art lost in the plaza - the Calder, the Fritz Koenig sphere, Rosati's ideogram, etc. There is a rare large Miro tapestry that hung (in the lobby I believe) in WTC 2. These pieces are significant because they were seen by so many people and helped to animate the space. These sorts of sculptures are the defining pieces of the space, creating a transition from the human scale and the immensity of the Towers.
The lightness and humor of the Calder pieces are a poignant loss. They seemed like giant, whimsical toys that had been left there by a good natured giant.
Saul Wenegrat, who was the curator of public art at the WTC gives a great tour of the large pieces in the public spaces with photos.
This link covers the public spaces and large pieces fairly well. What I hope to cover are the sculpture or painting on - say- the 38th floor office that maybe didn't get a lot of viewings.