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Media announcements and publications

Media announcements



Contemporary Art Underground

A celebration of more than 100 major public art commissions throughout the New York transit system.

"Contemporary Art Underground" presents more than 100 permanent projects completed between 2015 and 2023 by MTA Arts & Design. This ground-breaking program of site-specific projects by a broad spectrum of well-known and emerging contemporary artists has helped to create a sense of character and place at subway and commuter rail stations throughout the MTA system. Among the featured artists are Yayoi Kusama, Kiki Smith, Nick Cave, Ann Hamilton, Xenobia Bailey, Jim Hodges, Alex Katz, Sarah Sze, and Vik Muniz.

Of special interest is the discussion of fabricating and transposing the artist’s rendering or model into mosaic, glass, or metal, the materials that can survive in the transit environment. This is the definitive survey of the latest works of the internationally acclaimed MTA Arts & Design collection. On view 24 hours a day, the collection is seen by more than four million subway riders and commuters daily and has been hailed as ‘New York’s Underground Art Museum.’ The collection enlivens stations in all boroughs, with a myriad works by major contemporary artists executed in mosaic, glass, metal, and ceramic.

To be published by Monacelli Press on April 24, 2024.

New York Subway Architecture & Design Map

A New York Subway Architecture & Design Map by Sandra Bloodworth, director of MTA Arts & Design, and Linda Tonn, chief architect of MTA New York City Transit. This two-sided cartographic guide is an insightful and fascinating guide to the subway’s architecture, art, and graphic design for transport lovers, students of design, and anyone interested in the history of New York City.

Cover image of New York Subway and Design Map

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, and Acconci Studio — 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 MTA's 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 59 St-Columbus Circle, Doug and Mike Starn's "See it split, see it change" at South Ferry, and James Carpenter's "Sky Reflector-Net" at Fulton Transit 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.

The Best of Poetry in Motion: Celebrating 25 Years on Subways and Buses

It would have pleased Walt Whitman, that poet of urban motion, to envision his words coursing by electrified rail through a diverse, global city of 8 million souls. Since 1992, with the presentation of an excerpt from Walt Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry,” the Poetry in Motion program — cosponsored by MTA Arts & Design and the Poetry Society of America — has brought more than 200 poems, in whole or in part, before the eyes of millions of subway and bus riders, offering a moment of timelessness in the busy day.

The poems are by an eclectic mix of writers, from Sappho and Sylvia Plath to W. H. Auden, Rita Dove, Seamus Heaney, Nikki Giovanni, Patrick Phillips, and Aracelis Girmay. Each of the 100 poems gathered here has, in 16 lines or less, the power to enliven the quotidian, provide nourishment for the soul, and enchant even the youngest among us.