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Charles Moretz ’72: Genius Loci: The Art of Remembrance

Photographer Charles Moretz standing on a window-washing rig on the side of one of the World Trade Center twin towers. He has a large format camera beside him, and is attached to the rig with safety gear. You can see a ship in the bay far below.
©2021 Charles Hugh Moretz Jr. All rights reserved.

In 1972, a young NC State School of Design graduate, Charles Moretz, left Raleigh and moved to Manhattan. As a budding professional photographer, Moretz captured New York City at a time when the city was in financial crisis. Yet, two of the largest buildings in the world were being constructed in lower Manhattan – the twin towers of the World Trade Center. These majestic structures were beacons of hope in a city scourged by homelessness and degradation. They became his muse. He photographed them from every angle, in various stages of light, and from every visible location in the city. His photographs caught the attention of the head of the World Trade Center Association, Guy Tozzoli. When Tozzoli saw Moretz’s photographs he exclaimed, “These are the best photos of the Twin Towers I’ve ever seen!” He then granted Charles full access to the towers [inside and out], provided he would allow his photos to be displayed on walls of the Windows of the World restaurant in the North Tower – which they were – and were subsequently destroyed when the towers fell on the morning of September 11.

This exhibition features Moretz’s unprecedented photos of the towers. He will share his compelling story of his journey to New York City and his access to the World Trade Center towers.

The exhibition also features the work of sculptor Ann Cowperthwaite along with artists Mary Hauser and Paul Cash. These works are expressions of their experiences with the tragedy of 9/11 and how our current culture relates to this historical event.

Opening Reception

Friday, Sept. 10 at 5:30 p.m. in the R.A. Bryan Gallery at the Crafts Center
Featuring Charles Moretz, beginning at 6 p.m.
Sculptures by Ann Cowperthwaite
Fiber sculpture by Mary Hauser
Glassworks by Paul Cash

Open to the public. Face coverings will be required for all who attend. Please check the Protect the Pack website for the most current information regarding campus policies.

In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act, NC State will honor requests for reasonable accommodations made by individuals with disabilities. Direct accommodation requests to: Carol Fountain Nix,

About Ann Cowperthwaite

What Inspires Me
The best and worst of human nature are in constant tension. The consequences of our best behaviors inspire; the consequences of our worst, deplete hope. I express this tension using raw materials handled deliberately in a refined manner. These pieces are abstractly figurative, and as such, are life-size in scale.

Bearing Wounds #1
Holly and steel

A parted trunk, standing tall, as two individuals who bear witness to the wounding each have endured and the wounding each have caused. We all bleed.

The Graved Sword
Marble, wenge, silver, and steel

Enter yourself deeply, and gather all impudence, hatred and fear so mysteriously cultivated.  Unsheathe these as a sword and lay them down. Bury arrogance. Bury prejudice. Bury disregard. 

Ann Cowperthwaite is a practicing artist [MFA, sculpture] and designer living in Raleigh, NC. She has produced both public and private art, while being engaged full time in a business – Eidolon Designs – she created with her husband, Michael Parker. After years of focusing on her family and their family’s business, Ann is focusing on sculpture, as a visual response to the conditions of discord and wounding while believing above all in the beauty of our common humanity.

A Charles Moretz photograph of the twin towers of the World Trade Center, with silhouettes of people added on the bottom.
©2021 Charles Hugh Moretz Jr. All rights reserved.