Tribute in Light is one of the most powerful and healing works of public art ever produced. After more than a decade with MAS, the majestic blue twin beams are presented by the National September 11 Memorial & Museum, shining from dusk on September 11, through dawn the next day. Visible within a sixty-mile radius on a clear night, Tribute has become a world-renowned icon of remembrance, honoring those who were lost, as well as those who worked so hard to get our city through that terrible trial.
Tribute in Light was first presented on March 11, 2002, six months after the attacks, and MAS presented it annually for ten years. Since 2012, Tribute in Light has been presented by the 9/11 Memorial Museum. Comprising eighty-eight 7,000-watt xenon light bulbs positioned into two 48-foot squares that echo the shape and orientation of the Twin Towers, Tribute in Light is assembled each year on a roof near the World Trade Center site. The illuminated memorial reaches four miles into the sky and was the strongest shaft of light ever projected from earth into the night sky at the time of its debut.
The artwork was independently conceived by several artists and designers who were brought together under the auspices of MAS and Creative Time. Tribute was designed by John Bennett, Gustavo Bonevardi, Richard Nash Gould, Julian Laverdiere and Paul Myoda with lighting consultant Paul Marantz. It was originally made possible by a grant from the Lower Manhattan Development Corporation and with the generous assistance of Con Edison.
See and listen to the origins of Tribute in Light and how it is produced annually on September 11.
Tribute in Light can be seen from many points across the New York metropolitan area. Some excellent public viewing locations include:
How did it start?
The idea for the lights was independently conceived by several artists and designers, who were brought together under the auspices of the Municipal Art Society and Creative Time.
Who designed it?
The Tribute in Light was designed by John Bennett, Gustavo Bonevardi, Richard Nash Gould, Julian Laverdiere, Paul Myoda and lighting designer Paul Marantz.
What was MAS’s role?
MAS produced the Tribute in Light annually for its first 10 years—from the debut in March 2012 on the 6 month anniversary, through the 2011 presentation. At the occasion of the opening of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum, we transferred administration of the Tribute to the museum, which has faithfully carried on its annual presentation.
The memorial was originally going to be called the Towers in Light, but MAS received feedback from 9/11 families that a name paying tribute to the lives lost rather than the buildings that had once stood would be a more powerful remembrance.
The Tribute in Light rises miles into the sky and can be seen from 60 miles away.
As of 2002, the two arrays cast the strongest shaft of light ever projected from earth into the night sky.
Photo Credits: Robert Vizzini, Lynn Saville, Barry Yanowitz, and Ryan Budhu.