MANHATTAN CATASTROPHE POSTPONES DAZZLE & DRAB


The daily scene outside Seamen's Church Institute as the relief effort is in full swing.

The destruction of the World Trade Center Towers has necessitated re-scheduling the opening of the Museumís forthcoming exhibition, Dazzle & Drab. As things presently stand, it will now open to the public officially at 11:00 a.m. on Armistice Day, Sunday, 11 November, and will remain in place at the Water Street Gallery through February 28th, 2002.

There will be a press preview on the morning of Thursday, 8 November and that evening, Seamenís Church will have its opening night reception. The following night, Friday the 9th, from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., the Ocean Liner Museum will host their reception for those members of the Ocean Liner Museum who have purchased tickets to the gala dinner, which will start at 8:00 p.m. in a nearby restaurant. Tickets are still available at a cost per person of $150.

Throughout the interim period between the hideous events of the morning of 11 September until Friday the 28th, the Reverend Canon Peter Larom, Seamenís Church Instituteís director, transformed his entire building into a vital refuge for stranded workers from destroyed office buildings as well as, in the words of the Instituteís Special edition of The Lookout, ďa bastion of food, comfort and safety for the thousands of rescue workers flooding into lower Manhattan.Ē

It was a bold, expensive, demanding but utterly compassionate chore, transforming 241 Water Street into a haven of sanctuary, succour, refreshment and rejuvenation. The entire staff of the Institute toiled on behalf of hundreds of firemen, police, emergency service workers and, in short, anyone in need of sustenance, counsel and rest. There was no electricity and no telephone service. Hot meals were prepared on a huge outdoor grill and throughout the ensuing days and nights, an overwhelming response bore witness to Peter Laromís charitable inspiration.

Curator Wayne Mazzotta and his volunteers had already started unpacking Dazzle & Drab before their work was abruptly terminated. The incomplete exhibition stayed as it was, frozen in time, and Seamenís Church was able, providentially, to keep the gallery and all its contents sacrosanct from the daily impact of their vital work for hundreds of downtown workers. Nothing was damaged and, finally, on the morning of October 6th, the interrupted schedule of installation could resume, to be completed by 11/11.


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