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As Above, So Below

Grand Central Terminal

As Above, So Below

Ellen Driscoll
Artwork in glass, metal and mosaic by Ellen Driscoll showing people, maps, and abstract forms.
“As Above, So Below” (1998) by Ellen Driscoll at Grand Central Terminal. Photo: Rob Wilson

About the project

The historic ceiling in the main concourse at Grand Central Terminal reveals the night sky with golden stars that form the constellations. Grand Central becomes a metaphor for our connection with the wider world beyond New York City and "As Above, So Below" takes the viewer around the world to the night sky above five different continents, representing myths, civilization, heavens, and the underworld. These scenes bring to life ancient tales that demonstrate how the stories told about the heavens reflect the way we live on earth. A close look at any of the faces in the work reveal their diversity, as indeed, the people in these mosaics represent many different backgrounds. However, the artist has altered them to take on the attributes of mythical figures. The work summons the everlasting and the ephemeral, reminding us of our spiritual and worldly past while we hurry through the station.

About the artist

Ellen Driscoll's work encompasses sculpture, drawing, and public art. Her public installations have been displayed at the Whitney Museum at Phillip Morris, the International High School in Queens, and Sarasota National Cemetery. Her awards include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, the Bunting Institute, the New York Foundation for the Arts, the Massachusetts Council on the Arts, the LEF Foundation, the Rhode Island Foundation, Anonymous Was a Woman, and a Fine Arts Award from the American Academy of Arts and Letters. Her work is in major collections including the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Whitney Museum of Art. She was Program Director of Studio Arts from 2013 to 2021 and continues as Visiting Professor of Sculpture at Bard College. Driscoll lives and works in Brooklyn and Tivoli, New York.