Jonathan Hyman's Archive

About Jonathan Hyman’s Archive  A New Americana: Visual Responses to 9/11


Shannon Perich, Associate Curator of the Smithsonian’s Photographic History Collection, states, “There are bodies of work that document the varied American responses to Vietnam, other wars, and national issues, but none with the same focus on the intersection between national tragedy, personal experience and public expression. Like Alexander Gardner’s Civil War work, Hyman’s is a rare and historically important group of materials that will sit as a central point of departure for September 11th imagery and the understanding of our era.”

Listed below are some key headings for the contents of Hyman’s extensive archive:

-multiple trips to Washington D.C. since 9/11 to document memorials, signs, banners in town and at the Pentagon.
-multiple trips to document the crash site in Shanksville, PA.
-Documentation of “America’s Ride” a cross-country charity motorcycle ride on the two year anniversary of the 9/11 attacks. Ride is documented from New Castle, Pennsylvania, to Ground Zero in New York City. An enormous handmade flag (‘The 9/11 Flag’) was raised at various stops along the way including the Pentagon, the U.S. Capitol Building, and the Shanksville, PA crash site.
-Long-term Documentation of “The 9/11 Flag” as it traveled around the country. Made by local volunteers and school children from Bucks County, PA, and Hunterdon County, NJ, the 22 feet x 32 feet memorial flag is made entirely from 2,993 little American flags representing the life of each person who died in the attacks. Also sewn into it are 86 flags of nations that lost citizens in the attacks. The perimeter of the flag has sewn into it the patches of fire departments from around the country and world given to the keeper of the flag by department members he meets during his travels.
-Long-term documentation of the changing 9/11 Memorial at the Tinton Falls, New Jersey, firehouse including the most recent iteration with recovered steel from the WTC towers
-A memorial mural created and hung on the two year anniversary of 9/11: J. Hyman exhibits a large scale mural at the Rico/Maresca Gallery in New York City. Mural made from six hundred 4”x6” photographs in the New Americana collection.
-Documentation of the work of prolific 9/11 muralists, Joe Indart, Scott LoBado and the work of the well known street artist, Chico.
-Documentation of the work of “Liberty George” aka Gorgi Dukov, New York City street artist who made many 9/11 memorial masks in the shape of the Statue of Liberty.
-Two tile memorials in New York City. One is a large two-sided outdoor collection of hanging tiles made by children and adults from all over the country.
-Documentation of the interiors and exteriors of some New York City firehouses with memorials of firefighters who died in the 9/11 attacks. Collection also contains photographs of over fifteen firehouse doors and exteriors.
-Documentation of The Uniformed Firefighters Association office in Manhattan which maintains an informal gallery of art objects related to 9/11
-Photographs of cars trucks, and buses that were decorated and painted after September 11, 2001.
-Photographs and bumper stickers which comment about President George W. Bush.
-Photographs of New York City street signs named for those who died in the 9/11 attacks.
-Photographs of missing person flyers posted after the 9/11 attacks.
-Photographs of privately maintained 9/11 memorial parks which feature portraits and personal effects of those who perished in the attacks. “Angel’s Circle” in Staten Island, New York, honors hundreds of Staten Island residents.
-Photographs of 9/11 memorials that individual towns and cities erected after the attacks.
-Portraits of people who have tattooed themselves to memorialize the 9/11 attacks and/or those who died.
-Photographs of the tombstones of those who died in the 9/11 attacks
-Documentation of roadside flags, memorials, banners, signs, and portraits from 9/11/2001 to date.
-Photographs of Ground Zero (the WTC “Pit” area) on the day of the five year anniversary of the attacks.
-Photographs of the Ground Zero area over time to the present.
-Photographs depicting the build up to the Iraq war including pro and anti-war material. Same for after the start of the war.
-Photographs of murals and memorials as they have been altered or changed naturally over time.
-Informal interviews and oral histories with many of the artists, collectors, and patrons of the artwork and memorials documented.

For more information about Jonathan Hyman’s 9/11 Archive visit these sites:

http://www.pbs.org/newshour/rundown/2011/09/911-as-art-photographer-captures-vernacular-response-to-attacks.html

http://www.nytimes.com/slideshow/2011/09/08/us/sept-11-reckoning/folkart.html?scp=1&sq=jonathan%20hyman&st=cse

http://www.journalofamericanhistory.org/projects/americanfaces/hyman.html

http://www.squidoo.com/jonathan_hyman/ 

http://www.time.com/time/photoessays/2006/911_folk_art_multimedia/