the ARTistry of ARThistory occasionally done ARTfully

Art in Motion

Posted by gninja on July 8, 2007

This one always makes me sad:


The MTA’s “Poetry in Motion” program is a good thing. I’ll let them tell you about it:

London’s Poems on the Underground program began in subway cars in 1986. In 1992, New York City Transit followed London’s lead and Poetry in Motion was born. Representatives from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) and the Poetry Society of America collaborate on the selection of poems. A complete poem or excerpt by an established poet must be short enough to be readable on one of our subway or bus cards. The PSA secures rights to reprint the poems and arranges poetry readings to promote the program.

For the most part I’m amazed that some precious ad space is reserved instead for stuff that isn’t trying to sell me anything, much as I appreciate the fantasies of perfect skin provided by Dr. Zizmor. The program is underwritten by Barnes and Noble, and their logo appears on the poetry placards, so that’d explain it.

Which got me thinking this morning that it’d be nice to have some artwork do the same duty. I don’t know who would underwrite it, considering that very few of the major museums in NY have free admission. (If not for my Columbia University ID, I’d go to museums pretty rarely for just that reason.) I’d like to see some paintings or photographs represented in subway cars, particularly in those cases flanking the doors– usually only two per car are reserved for MTA maps, while the rest tell me I can get a degree in 18 months from BMCC.

They can be subway-themed, if you like. The guys over at Magnum have a ton of those:


(The subway platform always makes for a great film strip.)

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