Todd Stone: Documenting Disaster, Documenting Rebirth

  • September 21, 2021
An artist's illustration of the cloud of dark smoke filling the streets of Lower Manhattan on 9/11.
"10:45 am," by Todd Stone

Todd Stone was at his Tribeca studio on September 11, 2001, when the deafening sound of two ill-fated jetliners - eerily low-flying - shattered his morning routine. Within minutes, he had run to the building's roof, where he watched, sketched, and photographed in horror as the Twin Towers were struck, burned, and collapsed just six blocks away. 

Stone ultimately channeled the trauma of what he'd seen into "Witness," a series documenting that catastrophic morning. "10:45 am," the gift of Jerome and Nancy Kohlberg, is one of two pieces from the series housed in the Museum's permanent collection. 

But for the artist, the 9/11 experience did not end with unfathomable loss and destruction. It continued for two more decades, evolving and coming to symbolize rebirth and strength. Now, to mark the 20th anniversary of the attacks, the New York Culture Club - a gallery at the Oculus - showcases Stone's perspective on the rebuilding of lower Manhattan with a solo exhibition. Running through September 30, "Renewal" features 30 oil, watercolor, and digital media works that capture the downtown rebuilding effort and the 12 years he spent as part of a revived, high-rise studio residency program for artists begun in the 1990s by the Lower Manhattan Cultural Council and the Port Authority in the original Twin Towers. 

"Downtown has come a long way over the last 20 years," Stone said in a press release announcing the exhibition. "And the rebuilding shows the resilience of the collective human spirit that all should celebrate. My work is an elegy for those lost here and a celebration of the workers and community who brought the vision of the rebuilt World Trade Center to life again." 

"Renewal" is on view at the New York Culture Club - Oculus C1 Level, 185 Greenwich Street, through the end of the month. 

By 9/11 Memorial Staff

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The 20th Anniversary Commemoration

Thank you to everyone who joined us in remembrance on Saturday. Together, we will #NeverForget911.

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