Photo credit: Donor provided
Accession Number: C.2019.104.1
Dimensions: 37 in X 25 in
Dimensions (Metric): 93.98 cm X 63.5 cm
Credit Line: Gift of the artist, Samuel Kaplan
Painting titled Runner by Samuel Kaplan (1928-2021). The painting depicts people fleeing from the dust cloud caused by the collapse of the Twin Towers. Despite the debris cloud depicted in the painting, the towers are still standing, with a fireball erupting from the South Tower and black smoke pouring from the North Tower. People falling are also depicted, as well as fluttering paper debris. The sky is a fiery yellow with only a small sliver of the bright blue sky visible behind the buildings.
Brooklyn-based artist Samuel Kaplan portrays a scene with elements echoing those captured on the morning of September 11, 2001, by AP photographer Suzanne Plunkett. The photo, which was published in TIME and disseminated across various news outlets in the attacks’ aftermath, documents people running from the collapsing South Tower as a massive smoke cloud from the imploding building billows between the architectural canyons of lower Manhattan. In Kaplan's painting, titled Runner, Kaplan paints a dust cloud similar to the one generated from the South Tower’s collapse. However, in his version of the scene, both Towers remain upright, aflame, and spewing smoke from their upper floors. Falling bodies are silhouetted against the buildings’ silver facades. Additionally, Kaplan added lower Manhattan landmarks to his work which confuse the perspective, creating a composite scene. Similarly, he augments the painting’s foreground with the inclusion of a firetruck and a pair of dust-covered evacuees on the left.