New Acquisition: Frank Dammers Painting

The painting “Freedom New York” by artist Frank Dammers is seen mounted on a wall. The painting depicts lower Manhattan, including Pier 17, the Brooklyn Bridge and One World Trade Center.
Freedom New York by Frank Dammers. Gift of Frank Dammers Fine Art Foundation.

The 9/11 Memorial Museum has recently acquired a Frank Dammers painting titled “Freedom New York.” Created in 2005, it evokes the New York City skyline as seen from across the East River in Brooklyn, with the new World Trade Center complex depicted before its actual construction had begun.

“The Museum collection has been enriched by the recent gift of ‘Freedom New York.’ When Frank Dammers initiated this painting, ground zero was still a depressing, colorless cavity in lower Manhattan,” 9/11 Memorial Museum Chief Curator Jan Ramirez said.  “But Dammers vaulted over that somber mood by daring to envision the return of an enlivened downtown, with a stunning, restored skyline.”

The painting celebrates the city's resilience and embraces a vision of the city risen in defiance of the 2001 terrorist attacks.    

Dammers began painting in response to a series of life altering traumatic events. the artist began to explore the theme of 9/11 in his artwork in 2004 after he met a group of 9/11 survivors, and a first responder who lost some of his colleagues while on vacation. He identified with the emotional struggle that comes with rebuilding one’s life after a traumatic experience and became inspired to explore these deeply personal feelings through his art, with a positive emphasis on the attainability of overcoming hardship. 

Dammers style is reminiscent of Piet Mondrian and Paul Klee in its geometric abstraction and bold palette. “He organizes his areas of color to the point that they form an image that is as true to the strictures of actual perception as to the unbridled imagination of the artist and his fervor for viewing reality in a positive and constructive manner,” Dutch art critic Wim van der Beek said on Dammer’s website.

By 9/11 Memorial Staff

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