A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Installation of “K-9 Courage”

The "K-9 Courage" exhibition space under construction.
Photo by 9/11 Memorial & Museum Staff

In January 2020, the 9/11 Memorial Museum opened K-9 Courage, an exhibition located in the Museum’s South Tower Gallery. K-9 Courage pays tribute to the working dogs that participated in the response to the 9/11 attacks.

Every exhibition at the Museum is researched, written, designed, and produced by a dedicated team. A lot of detail goes into making an exhibition, and the photographs below show some of the process of bringing K-9 Courage to life.

Wall labels for K-9 Courage laid out on a table, awaiting to be installed in the gallery space.
Photo by 9/11 Memorial & Museum staff

All of the photographs’ labels are laid out and placed in the order in which they will appear on the walls. Previously the labels were checked for their accuracy, and their condition is rechecked during installation. Each label includes one or two photographs’ captions and the photographers’ credit lines. Each photograph has a label to give credit to its creator and provide context to Museum visitors.

A photo of the installation of "K-9 Courage" exhibition.
Photo by 9/11 Memorial & Museum staff

Members of the Exhibitions department spread out the photographs and labels on a table in preparation for their installation. The photographs were checked previously for any scratches or scuff marks, and now they are rechecked. In the background, the installation crew attach strips of maple wood bordering to the wall.

A photo of the installation of "K-9 Courage" exhibition.
Photo by 9/11 Memorial & Museum staff

Before the photographs can be hung, the installation team designate their layout, including spacing. A piece of paper displaying the layout of the exhibition’s photographs is taped to the wall for the team to reference.

A photo of the installation of "K-9 Courage" exhibition.
Photo by 9/11 Memorial & Museum staff

A member of the installation team attaches strips of maple wood bordering along one wall of the South Tower Gallery before photographs are hung. The walls were painted for this exhibition a few days before the installation.

A photo of the installation of "K-9 Courage" exhibition.
Photo by 9/11 Memorial & Museum staff

Photographs are attached to the wall by mounts. Here, a member of the installation crew levels and affixes a mount to the wall. The framed photograph will then sit atop the mount, which keeps it straight and stable.

A photo of the installation of "K-9 Courage" exhibition.
Photo by 9/11 Memorial & Museum staff

One of the exhibition’s opening photographs, installed with its label on the right-hand side. Some labels, such as this one, have short descriptions that elaborate on the image’s subject.

A photo of the installation of "K-9 Courage" exhibition.
Photo by 9/11 Memorial & Museum staff

The installation crew mount a few more photographs along the wall, referencing a piece of paper displaying the layout of the exhibition.

A photo of the installation of "K-9 Courage" exhibition.
Photo by 9/11 Memorial & Museum staff

The same wall with more photographs installed. These pictures await their labels.

A photo of the installation of "K-9 Courage" exhibition.
Photo by 9/11 Memorial & Museum staff

With the maple wood bordering complete on this wall, the installation crew affixes the exhibition’s introductory panel next to an opening photograph. This introductory panel offers a description of the exhibition’s contents and provides context to Museum visitors.

A photo of the installation of "K-9 Courage" exhibition.
Photo by 9/11 Memorial & Museum staff

An installation team member prepares to affix an orange-colored border to the opening photograph next to the introductory panel.

A photo of the installation of "K-9 Courage" exhibition.
By 9/11 Memorial & Museum staff

Having installed orange-colored borders on the large photograph, the installation team continue to mount more photographs to the wall.

A photo of the installation of "K-9 Courage" exhibition.
Photo by 9/11 Memorial & Museum staff

The complete maple wood bordering, introductory panel, opening image with its label, and exhibition title at one of the gallery’s entrances. Each letter of the title K-9 Courage was mounted on the wall individually.

A photo of the installation of "K-9 Courage" exhibition.
Photo by 9/11 Memorial & Museum staff

One completed view of the exhibition.

A photo of the installation of "K-9 Courage" exhibition.
Photo by 9/11 Memorial & Museum staff

At the other end of the South Tower Gallery, installation team members start to place photographs and install mounts.

A photo of the installation of "K-9 Courage" exhibition.
Photo by 9/11 Memorial & Museum staff

The installation crew prepare to install the exhibition’s title, K-9 Courage, at the second entrance. Before the letters can be mounted, they must be stenciled onto the wall to serve as a guide for the team. Then, each letter will be mounted individually.

A photo of the installation of "K-9 Courage" exhibition.
Photo by 9/11 Memorial & Museum staff

A second wall of the exhibition is nearly finished. Each photo is displayed next to its label.

A photo of the installation of "K-9 Courage" exhibition.
Photo by 9/11 Memorial & Museum staff

The second wall is complete. This entrance to the exhibition has an introductory panel identical to the other entrance’s.

A photo of the installation of "K-9 Courage" exhibition.
Photo by 9/11 Memorial & Museum staff

The installation team measures, spaces, and attaches photographs and labels to the walls.

A photo of the installation of "K-9 Courage" exhibition.
Photo by 9/11 Memorial & Museum staff

The installation crew mount photographs and labels to a third wall. Each photograph has a label, and sectional panels provide more information about the photographs’ contents. The orange-colored circles address frequently asked questions about some of the photographs. The transparent case attached to the wall will hold an artifact.

A photo of the installation of "K-9 Courage" exhibition.
Photo by 9/11 Memorial & Museum staff

The installation team adjust the height of one of the exhibition’s largest photographs.

By Elizabeth Fischetti, Exhibition Coordinator, 9/11 Memorial & Museum

Previous Post

9/11 Memorial to Launch Virtual Tours

While state and federal guidelines prohibit group tours, we are offering Virtual 9/11 Memorial Tours every morning beginning Thursday, July 9, 2020.

View Blog Post

Next Post

9/11 Memorial Will Be Closed July 10 Due To Inclement Weather

Due to a tropical storm warning affecting the tristate area, the 9/11 Memorial plaza will be closed on Friday, July 10.

View Blog Post