Accession Number: C.2017.183.1
Dimensions: 10.375 in X 10.375 in
Dimensions (Metric): 26.3525 cm X 26.3525 cm
Credit Line: Trying to Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning © Spencer Finch
Trying to Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning
Commissioned installation artwork titled Trying to Remember the Color of the Sky on That September Morning by Spencer Finch. The piece consists of 2,983 Fabriano Italian paper squares, each one hand-painted a unique shade of blue. The squares are mounted on the eastern wall in the 9/11 Museum's Memorial Hall between the archeological footprints of the Twin Towers at bedrock level. Set within Finch's work is the quotation: "NO DAY SHALL ERASE YOU FROM THE MEMORY OF TIME" from Virgil's The Aeneid. The letters are forged from recovered World Trade Center steel.
This art installation, created in 2014, is composed of 2,983 individual watercolor drawings—each a distinct attempt by the artist to remember the color of the sky on the morning of September 11, 2001. Commemorating the people killed in the attacks of September 11, 2001, and February 26, 1993, every square is a unique shade of blue, combining to create a panoramic mosaic of color.
Finch’s work centers on the idea of memory. What one person perceives as blue might not be the same as what another person sees. Yet our memories, like our perception of color, share a common reference.
Accompanying Finch's work is the quotation "No day shall erase you from the memory of time" from Book IX of The Aeneid by the Roman poet Virgil. The quotation's text is forged from pieces of recovered World Trade Center steel by New Mexico artist Tom Joyce.
Originally trained as a blacksmith, Joyce was invited to harness the transformative process that occurs when iron is touched by fire. He took wounded, remnant steel—made of iron and carbon—and forged it, heating and folding it into letters.