Daily News

New York’s ‘Underground Museum’ Pleases Passersby

Millions of New Yorkers and visitors ride the city’s subway and other trains each day. The public transportation system offers more than just a trip, however. It also has one of the most extensive public art collections in the world, with much of it under city streets.

Some people call it New York’s “underground art museum.” It includes more than 250 works of art. They are meant to brighten everyone’s ride around the city.

There is the huge painting of the night sky on the ceiling of Grand Central Terminal. New Yorkers have been looking up at that artwork for 100 years.

In the nearby Grand Central Market, you can find a large, crystal light fixture. The ice-like stones hang on the chandelier’s many branches, making the piece look like an upside-down olive tree. Sculptor Donald Lipski completed the work in 1988.

Other artists include new ones and the long-famous: Roy Lichtenstein’s popart porcelain enamel mural is found at Times Square. Sol Lewitt’s intensely colored “Whirls and Twirls” is at Columbus Circle.

For the past 30 years, artists have been asked to make works that relate to city life or to the neighborhood around a train station. There are coastal scenes at stations near the Atlantic Ocean. Native plants and flowers can be found in a garden scene in Brooklyn.