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Acclaimed photographer Joel Meyerowitz is exhibiting large-scale images from his Aftermath series. Thirty-one photographs provide an emotional documentation of Ground Zero, site of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks in New York, through April 28 at Skillman Library.

“In the moments after the collapse of the towers I was overcome by a deep impulse to help, to save, to soothe,” says Meyerowitz. “I felt it necessary to create an archive for the city of New York. To be a part of the effort to reclaim and renew was, in spite of the deep sadness attached to it, an uplifting experience. The camaraderie that existed among the workers in the zone reminds me of the legends we’ve heard about the Great World Wars, where men are thrown together by a common cause and share in the tragedies and victories, and are forever bound by their effort.”

As part of Lafayette’s Imagining America first-year experience, Meyerowitz will speak on the new America that is arising from the embers of 9/11 during the capstone lecture 8 p.m. Tuesday, April 4, in Williams Center for the Arts. The event is sponsored by Office of the Dean of Studies.

Since 2002, Meyerowitz’s images of Ground Zero have been around the globe as part of over 35 separate exhibitions mounted by the U.S. Department of State and tours are still ongoing. More than 3.5 million people have viewed his powerful photographs in Jerusalem, Islamabad, Rome, Paris, London, Kuwait, Moscow, Istanbul, and over 200 other cities.

Meyerowitz took more than 8,500 photographs following the 9/11 tragedy, forming the basis of the World Trade Center Archive, part of which was donated to the Museum of the City of New York and the rest included in the Library of Congress permanent collection. He was appointed a State Department Cultural Ambassador by Colin Powell in 2001 under an initiative to strengthen relationships between American cultural institutions and their counterparts around the world.

Known as a “street photographer” and early advocate of color photography during the mid 1960s, Meyerowitz was instrumental in changing the attitude toward the use of color photography. His first book, CapeLight, is considered a classic work of color photography and has sold more than 100,000 copies during its 20-year life. He has authored 14 other books, including Bystander: The History of Street Photography and Tuscany: Inside the Light. He is a Guggenheim fellow and a recipient of National Endowment for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities awards.

The exhibition is co-sponsored by Friends of Skillman Library and a portion of the costs has been underwritten by Hewlett-Packard.

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