Sculptures by Calder, Rodin Lost in 9/11 Attacks

Although the cast of Rodin's Thinker from the World Trade Center remains missing, another version is on view at Columbia University.

Although the loss of almost 3,000 lives in the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the World Trade Center understandably dominated headlines in the days and weeks that followed, the events also resulted in the loss of troves of important documents and at least two major works of art, sculptures by Auguste Rodin and Alexander Calder, the Associated Press notes today.

The Rodin was a cast of his iconic Thinker that belonged to the Cantor Fitzgerald brokerage firm, which lost 650 employees in the attacks. Amazingly, the work actually survived the destruction “before mysteriously disappearing again.” Other reports indicate that the piece may in fact been stolen from ground zero after its recovery. The Calder was a 25-foot-tall work called Bent Propeller that was on view in the buildings’ courtyard.

Earlier reports from the Associated Press and The New York Times, from the year after the attack, also note that works by Pablo Picasso, David Hockney, and Roy Lichtenstein are believed to have been lost.

A decade later, many of the 430 firms whose offices were destroyed are still not precisely certain what they lost, since inventory records disappeared along with the inventory.

“You can’t get the picture back, because critical pieces are missing,” said Kathleen D. Roe, the co-chairwoman of the World Trade Center Documentation Project, which aims to catalogue missing records. “And so you can’t know what the whole picture looks like.”

Sculptures by Calder, Rodin Lost in 9/11 Attacks