Subway Station Art – American Museum of Natural History


Sometimes a museum may be your ultimate destination, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the journey. That’s definitely the case with the American Museum of Natural History, located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. If you travel to the museum by train, you will experience an additional treat – subway art with a natural history theme. The 81st Street-Museum of Natural History subway station is filled with mosaics of various animals and insects, floor tiles with various prehistoric native symbols and sea creatures, and replicas of fossilized bones. Titled For Want of a Nail, the subway art installation is meant to represent the evolution of life.

You’ll find the glass tile mosaics on the northbound platform level and as you enter and exit the subway station. (There are multiple entrances to this subway station, and each one has unique mosaics.) Here are a few of my favorites:





To reach the southbound level, you descend another set of stairs to the lower level. Here, there is a beautiful ceramic tile mosaic of the planets and constellations.


There is also the bronze replicas of fossilized bones, guaranteed to intrigue dinosaur hunters young and old (and inviting visitors to touch as well!)



How do you get the the 81st Street-Museum of Natural History Station? Depending on the time of day, you can take either the B train or C train. Verify train times on the MTA website, where you can also plan trips to and from specific addresses, landmarks, and subway stations. This is definitely a subway station not to be missed!

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