Jonathan C. Hyman earned his Master of Fine Arts degree from Hunter College in New York City, where he studied painting and photography. He was an Eagelson Scholar and a Somerville Art Prize recipient at Hunter, and as an undergraduate art major at Rutgers University, Hyman was a Henry Rutgers Scholar.
Hyman, whose area of interests are American popular culture, memorialization, social class, and public expression, is Associate Director for Conflict and Visual Culture Initiatives at the Solomon Asch Center for Study of Ethnopolitical Conflict at Bryn Mawr College.
Jonathan C. Hyman is well known for his ongoing 9/11 documentary project which began on the day of the September 11, attacks in 2001. Realizing right away that the spontaneous memorials and expressions of heartfelt sorrow, anger, unity, and patriotism he was seeing were, by their very nature, ephemeral, Hyman set out to document the enormous outpouring of vernacular art and public expressions that Americans were making. His work documents 20,000 artworks and memorials that Americans left on or near the side-of-the-road in response to the 9/11 attacks. Hyman’s is a large and comprehensive collection composed of a variety of different genres ranging from small handmade flags, banners, and candles to large-scale, memorials, murals, flags, and tattoos emblazoned on automobiles, buildings, and human skin. Hyman’s body of work — photographs and oral histories — compiled over the course of more than decade, documents the creation and evolution of a vernacular memorial culture and vocabulary surrounding the September 11th attacks.
Hyman’s work has been featured on television on The PBS NewsHour and in print and online in Time Magazine, The New York Times, The New York Post, The Journal of American History, Agence France-Press, El Mundo, Der Spiegel and other magazines, newspapers, and textbooks in America, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Canada, and Australia. His 9/11 photography has been featured in solo exhibitions at the National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York City, the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia, the Duke University Library, and the Wald/Kim Gallery in New York City. Additionally, Hyman has lectured widely in the United States and in Europe as a State Department Cultural Envoy. Jonathan C. Hyman is the author of a book Published in 2013 by the University of Texas Press titled, The Landscapes of 9/11: A Photographer’s Journey. Co-edited with Edward T. Linenthal and Christiane Gruber, this hybrid book features 100 of Hyman’s photographs and essays by well-known scholars and curators.
Beginning May 21, 2015, Hyman’s work will be the subject of a year-long special exhibition at the National September 11 Memorial Museum in New York City. The exhibit, accompanied by educational programming and an online gallery component, features many of Hyman’s works in the Museum’s collection.
Jonathan C. Hyman lives in Bethel, New York with his wife Gail, daughter Janey, and their German Shorthair Pointer, Quincy.