SEPTEMBER 11
BEARING WITNESS TO HISTORY

Browse Search About the Collection Curator Stories

click to enlarge
Scrapbook cover. Negative #: 2001.0316

Transcript: GOD IS LOVE

GOD BLESS AMERICA

The Ledger
By Michelle D. Guyton



Location: Other
Source: Gift of Michelle D. Guyton


Related Objects



Artist's scrapbook
Description: Michelle Guyton, an artist and poet from Mobile, Alabama, created this interpretive scrapbook reflecting on the events around September 11, 2001.

Context: Scrapbooks, as a format, both construct and preserve memories. This one is a powerful personal expression that includes objects and original poetry, along with pictures and newspaper clippings. The unique arrangement builds from the intensity of the attacks and rescue operations to a reflective and contemplative conclusion.

The choice of format, reusing an old account book, conveys the layered nature of history—the present overlaid on the past. Michelle Guyton felt compelled to make the scrapbook as a record of the terrible events of September 11. The scrapbook ends on a note of hopeful optimism for the human race, and it is a testament to her belief in the power of the human spirit over time.

click to enlarge
Scrapbook
Toward the middle of her scrapbook, Michelle Guyton incorporated patriotic memorabilia and handwritten passages like this historical account of the Star-Spangled Banner.
click to enlarge
End of scrapbook
This must not be considered as the end; it may be the end, but it is the end of the beginning. --Winston Churchill
click to enlarge
Early pages
The early portion of the scrapbook contains many clippings of September 11 news accounts.
click to enlarge
Artist Michelle Guyton
click to hear audio
click for transcript
"...when September 11 happened she knew what she had to do to create this book."
Helena Wright
Curator of Graphic Arts, Division of Information Technology & Society
click to hear audio
click for transcript
"I have an almost visceral reaction to this."
Helena Wright
Curator of Graphic Arts, Division of Information Technology & Society
click to hear audio
click for transcript
"There is a kind of optimism about human nature that comes through..."
Helena Wright
Curator of Graphic Arts, Division of Information Technology & Society

<< BROWSE MORE OBJECTS






Credits | Privacy Policy
©2002 National Museum of American History, Smithsonian Institution