One is officially a genius; two have already been dismissed as political hacks. One designed the new Brooklyn Library for the Visual and Performing Arts; another was president of the New York Public Library. One is a famous designer, another is responsible for Jeff Koons' flowering puppy in Rockefeller Center.
On April 10, the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation named the 13 people who will judge the competition for the 9/11 memorial. They include well-known artists, academics and architects, as well as a lower Manhattan resident and the wife of a 9/11 victim. David Rockefeller, who initiated the development of the original Twin Towers, will be the 14th member, an honorary member who will not vote.
The governor and mayor each appointed one representative, and the New York Post immediately criticized both political appointees for not having the arts background necessary to choose the memorial.
These 13 people will determine the future of the memorial largely on their own. There will be a public hearing about the memorial on May 28, before any of the designs have been submitted, [see timeline, right] and jury members will meet with interested groups, such as victims family members, throughout the competition to get input on their priorities for the memorial. But all decisions will be up to the jury.
The jurors are (listed alphabetically):
Paula Grant Berry
Paula Grant Berry's husband David was killed in the south tower of the World Trade Center on September 11. A member of the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation's Families Advisory Council, Grant Berry was one of four family members who traveled with development corporation members on a five-day tour of memorials around the United States. Grant Berry, who lives in Park Slope, also was a member of the committee that drafted guidelines for the memorial.
"I will work my hardest to ensure that the memorial helps us all find the peace and meaning we are seeking," Grant Berry said in a statement after her appointment.
Susan Freedman is president of the Public Art Fund , which coordinates projects like the current installation of art in City Hall Park and Jeff Koons' flowering puppy in Rockefeller Center in 2000. She is a board member at the Museum of Modern Art, the Municipal Art Society, and others, and worked for the city's Arts Commission under Ed Koch.
Vartan Gregorian, Ph.D.
Vartan Gregorian is president of the Carnegie Corporation of New York, and was Brown University's sixteenth president. From 1981 to 1989, he was president of the New York Public Library.
"New York is full of memorials to democracy, but this will be something much more powerful because it will commemorate the victims and celebrates the resiliency and will of all New Yorkers," Gregorian said in a statement.
Mayor Michael Bloomberg appointed Patricia Harris, his deputy mayor for administration, to the jury. She managed Bloomberg LP's corporate communications department before becoming deputy mayor. During the Koch administration, Harris was executive director of the city's Art Commission.
When she was 21, Maya Lin created the winning design for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington as an assignment for an undergraduate architecture class at Yale. At first, veterans groups did not support Lin's design, calling it a "black gash of shame" in a New York Times editorial. Eventually, a sculpture of three servicemen was added as a compromise near Lin's wall. Lin has said that the year she spent overseeing the development of the memorial in Washington was "beyond miserable." Her design has come to be recognized as one of the most moving monuments in the world.
Many had hoped that Lin herself would enter the 9/11 memorial competition, but by taking a place in the jury, she has withdrawn from competing. "I have fought very, very hard to get past being known as the Monument Maker," Lin told the New Yorker last summer. "I hope that my experience with memorials can help in the process to find a powerful and moving Memorial and can truly help people come to terms with such a painful and traumatic time in our lives," Lin said in a statement after her appointment.
Governor George Pataki chose Michael McKeon, his former communications director, as his representative on the jury. Family members and firefighters have criticized McKeon's appointment, saying that a person who represents the victims should be put on the jury instead.
"I was down at Ground Zero every day with the governor," McKeon told the New York Post . "I attended all the briefings with the governor. I was involved in the planning of the first anniversary ceremony. I've been actively involved in a whole range of issues on lower Manhattan for a long time."
Lower Manhattan resident Julie Menin founded Wall Street Rising , a non-profit organization working to revitalize lower Manhattan, in October 2001. Menin owns Vine Restaurant in the financial district, and worked as an attorney for Colgate-Palmolive before founding Wall Street Rising.
Last spring, Menin's organization created a public art display in lower Manhattan called Art Downtown, with hundreds of works, including art by Roy Lichtenstein, Andy Warhol and Louise Bourgeois, displayed in historic buildings.
"Whatever form the memorial ultimately takes, it must honor those who died on September 11th, it must be spiritually uplifting and architecturally memorable. It must serve as an instrument of healing for the families, the city and our nation. There is no greater challenge before us," Menin said.
A prominent Mexican architect, Enrique Norten beat out World Trade Center site finalist Rafael Vinoly in the 2002 competition for the Brooklyn Library for the Visual and Performing Arts. The Times architecture critic Herbert Muschamp has called Norten's design for the Brooklyn Library, "New York's first full-fledged masterwork for the information age."
"All of us are living in a unique historical moment, and are at a turning point in the history of western civilization. This Memorial is about both pain and loss, but also, about optimism and hope for the future," Norten said.
Martin Puryear , a sculptor, won the MacArthur Foundation's genius grant in 1989. Puryear works mainly with wood and metal, and has created works for the Walker Arts Center sculpture garden in Minneapolis, MN, and for the Getty Center in Los Angeles.
An expert on public art, Nancy Rosen has given grants for artwork in public places for the National Endowment for the Arts and served as an adviser for the New York State Council on the Arts. She has worked with the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington D.C. and with a public art program in Battery Park City.
Lowery Stokes Sims, Ph.D.
Lowery Stokes Sims was a curator at the Metropolitan Museum of Art for more than 20 years, and in 2000 became director of the Studio Museum in Harlem . Sims has been a juror for exhibitions at the Queens Museum, New Museum of Contemporary Art, the Pratt Institute and other institutions. Her father, John J. Sims Sr., worked for the Port Authority.
"I have fond memories of my first visit to the two towers as their construction was being completed. I know that we will find the right project that will serve as a fitting memorial to the brave individuals who died in the line of duty as public servants, employees, co-workers, parents, children, siblings, friends and neighbors," Sims said.
Michael Van Valkenburgh
New York City landscape artist Michael Van Valkenburgh teaches at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. He has been a member of many other memorial juries.
"Living in New York after the September 11 attack gave me a renewed faith in people and the power of their spirit and will to live. For me, the memorial is a gift to the future -- for us and something for the next generations of New Yorkers. The memorial will afford us an opportunity to remember the World Trade Center attack and to honor those who lost their lives," Van Valkenburgh said.
James Young, Ph.D.
James Young, a professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst's Judaic and Near Eastern Studies department, was a member of the commission that selected the design for the Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe in Berlin. The process to select the Berlin memorial spanned nearly a decade, with one design being selected in 1995 and then scrapped because so many disliked it. A new selection commission was created -- with Young as the only Jewish member -- in 1997. The group launched a new competition that year, and selected a design by Peter Eisenman and sculptor Richard Serra that creates a field of pillars on sloping ground. It is slated to open in 2004.
Young has said about Ground Zero: "If they hate our buildings, let's rebuild them here; if they hate our prosperity, let's prosper here; if they hate our culture, let's celebrate here; if they hate our lives, let's live them here."
The comments section is provided as a free service to our readers. Gotham Gazette's editors reserve the right to delete any comments. Some reasons why comments might get deleted: inappropriate or offensive content, off-topic remarks or spam.
Last Updated (Mar 22, 2012)