New York's Underground Art Museum: MTA Arts and Design
Initiated in 1985, the MTA Arts & Design collection of public art now encompasses more than 250 projects, creating a dynamic underground museum of contemporary art that spans the entire city and its immediate environs. Since the program was founded, a diverse group of artists—including Elizabeth Murray, Faith Ringgold, Eric Fischl, Romare Bearden, Acconci Studio, and many others—has created works in mosaic, terra-cotta, bronze, and glass for the stations of the New York City Subways and Buses, Metro-North Railroad, Long Island Rail Road, and Bridges and Tunnels.
An update of the classic Along the Way, this expanded edition features nearly 100 new works installed in stations since 2006, including Sol LeWitt’s Whirls and twirls (MTA) at Columbus Circle, Doug and Mike Starn’s See it split, see it change at South Ferry, and the James Carpenter/ Grimshaw/Arup Sky Reflector-Net at Fulton Center. The book illustrates how the program has taken to heart its original mandate: that the subways be “designed, constructed, and maintained with a view to the beauty of their appearance, as well as to their efficiency.” MTA Arts & Design is committed to preserving and restoring the original ornament of the system and to commissioning new works that exemplify the principles of vibrant public art, relating directly to the places where they are located and to the community around them.
The definitive guide to works commissioned by MTA Arts & Design, a reference for riders who have wondered about an artist or the meaning behind the art they’ve seen, as well as a memento for visitors, New York’s Underground Art Museum provides 300 color illustrations and insightful descriptions sure to infuse any future trip or viewing with a fresh appreciation and understanding of this historic enterprise.
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