As you travel through the Metropolitan Transportation Authority network, you experience a first-rate art museum comprised of works created in mosaic, terra cotta, bronze, glass and mixed-media sculpture. You may hear music, read poetry, or enjoy graphic posters in stations or rail cars.
The founders of the New York City subway believed that every design element in the system should show respect for our customers and enhance the experience of travel. Language was added to contracts that required the highest quality materials and craftsmanship. This led to the extensive use of ceramic tile, terra cotta and mosaics as decorative elements. As the century-old transportation network is restored and renewed, these decorative elements of the past are preserved and protected as contemporary art and design are introduced.
In conjunction with a massive rehabilitation program launched in the 1980's, MTA Arts & Design was created to oversee the selection of artists and installation of permanent artworks in subway and commuter rail stations. This percent for art program is one of the largest and most diverse collections of site-specific public art in the world, with more than 300 works by world famous, mid-career and emerging artists. MTA Arts & Design has grown to encompass Music Under New York, Graphic Posters, Poetry in Motion, Digital Arts, the photographic Lightbox Project, special events and industrial design issues.
MTA Arts & Design serves the over 8.7 million people who ride MTA subways and commuter trains daily and strives to create meaningful connections among sites, neighborhoods, and people. We invite you to discover and enjoy New York’s diverse and beautiful underground art museum.