Joseph Squillante’s Horizon 11 by Natalie Gifford

Joseph Squillante, Horizon 11, August 2001

Joseph Squillante’s Horizon 11, August 2001, is a black and white photograph of the
New York City twin towers from across the Hudson. Squillante spent close to half a century
traveling the length of the Hudson River starting in the Adirondacks and ending at the mouth of
the New York Harbor. He found most of his inspiration in the architecture, the people, and the
culture of the places he traveled to along the river. This photograph focuses on what can be
considered the most known as well as the most important part of the Hudson River, New York
City, and its looming twin towers.

The photograph uses a railing on the edge of what could be a pier or jetty as a frame
within the actual frame. It creates a small picture within the photograph, which if it were to be
cropped, could still be as captivating as the entire photograph. This picture within the picture
centers the city in the background with the jetty and Hudson River in the middle ground. The
use of the railing allows for division between the Hudson River and New York City from the sky.

The sky displays a heavy, slightly dense, and possibly eerie texture, that would have not been
possible if Joeseph Squillante had captured this image in color. The partial light breaking
through the sky seems to specifically illuminate the towers. Both the sky and the light source
can be interpreted today as a form of foreshadowing of what was to come in the following

At the time it was taken, the photograph was meant as an image centering on the
landscape and the architecture of New York City and the two towers in the distance across the
Hudson River. Only in the next month, these buildings would be the center of a disaster taking
the lives of almost 3,000 people. Since this tragic disaster, this picture contains more emotions
and more ghosts than one could have ever imagined when this photograph was taken. The
photograph itself is overwhelming not only due to its subject matter but also due to its chosen
location to be displayed in the New York State Museum. Within the same museum, just down
the hall, is the largest and the most comprehensive artifact collection of the World Trade Center
attacks. The environment of the average museum can be overwhelming to some, the way
silence can take over; however, the environment, and the overwhelming silence, of this museum
is intensified when focusing on this photograph, as if it were the only piece in this gallery–
especially to those who have seen the collection and memorial within the same walls.