Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Remembering 9/11

Old Glory by Mort Künstler © 1986 Mort Künstler, Inc.


I will never forget my disbelief and shock when the planes hit the Twin Towers seventeen years ago. Like so many other people, we wanted to help in some way.  Of course, we donated money to the American Red Cross for the victims, but it just didn’t seem like enough.

Not long before this tragedy, my art publisher had made prints of my painting Old Glory as a promotion.  There were about eight hundred remaining.  After 9/11, I decided to hand-sign the prints, and give them to people in exchange for a $25.00 donation to the American Red Cross.

I arranged for print signings at the Oyster Bay and Rockville Centre, New York Post Offices. The outpouring of concern and sympathy was universal when I met people at these events. For me it was an act of doing something and being a part of an effort to overcome the suffering America was experiencing.  We gave away all of the prints in a short period of time, and a second printing of another six thousand was done. After an article was written about the prints in Newsday and information appeared on our website, we started receiving checks for the Red Cross in the mail – a lot of them! Our network of dealers across the country were accepting donations to the Red Cross for these prints as well. Donations came in from around the world.

Every morning before going to work, I would sign hundreds of prints. My family and studio assistant packed and mailed them.  A neighbor volunteered to pack prints for hours. Within weeks we were able to donate $200,000 for this good cause.

                                                             — Mort Künstler

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All illustrations by Mort Künstler. Text by Michael Aubrecht, Dee Brown, Henry Steele Commager, Rod Gragg, Mort Knstler, James McPherson, and James I. Robertson, Jr. - Copyright 2001-2019. All Rights Reserved. No part of the contents of this web site may be reproduced or utilized in any form by any means without written consent of the artist.