Grand Central Gallery Annex & Store
Poetry in Motion at 25
Through October 28, 2018
Poetry in Motion at 25 celebrates the beloved program that has delighted subway and bus riders with its selection of short, stimulating verses from a variety of published poets since 1992 when it first displayed an excerpt from Walt Whitman’s “Crossing Brooklyn Ferry.” With support from the Metropolitan Transportation Authority, the Poetry in Motion program has presented more than 200 poems to millions of subway and bus riders, offering a moment of respite to commuters during their busy day. Since 2012, the program has been administered by MTA Arts & Design and the Poetry Society of America. The Museum’s exhibit at Grand Central Terminal features a broad range of the original Poetry in Motion car cards that have appeared in the New York City Transit system over the last twenty-five years.
Kingdom Animalia © 2011 by author. Reprinted with permission by BOA Editions, Ltd.
Elizabeth Murray, Stream (2001) © the Murray-Holman Family Trust. 23rd St – Ely Ave Station. Commissioned by MTA Arts & Design.
Transit Museum in Downtown Brooklyn
Underground Heroes: New York Transit in Comics
Through January 6, 2019
New York’s rich visual vernacular is a colorful setting for illustrated stories, so it comes as no surprise that our iconic transportation system plays a starring role in comics and graphic novels. Drawing on satirical cartoons, comic strips and comic books from the 19th through the 21st centuries, Underground Heroes: New York Transit in Comics is a raucous ride through New York’s transit system from a range of visual storytellers. The exhibit includes such luminaries as Winsor McCay, Will Eisner, Bill Griffith, Roz Chast, Ronald Wimberly and Julia Wertz whose work demonstrates the influence that mass transit has on the stories that are irrevocably woven into the cultural fabric of New York City.
The Big Apple is often as important as the people (and creatures) in comics narratives, and the creators of these fantastic stories draw inspiration from the world around them. The transit system serves as the scene for heroic rescues, as secret lairs for supervillains, and as the site for epic battles of wills. Subways, railroads, streetcars, and buses can whisk heroes to far-flung corners of the city, or serve as a rogue’s gallery of unusual characters.
From the Archive: NYCT Photo Unit Collection 1966 – 2004
The New York Transit Museum Archives recently completed a project processing approximately 300,000 images from the New York City Transit Photographic Unit, an internal division charged with visually documenting the transit agency. In 2004, the Photo Unit was reorganized to embrace emerging digital photographic processes, and in in 2013, forty-plus years of negatives, slides, and prints were accessioned by the Transit Museum Archives.
Produced from the 1960s through 2004, the photographs in this collection depict many facets of the public transit system in New York City, including services above and below ground. The selection of images in this exhibit depict only a fraction of the topics covered in this treasure trove of visual history.
Steel, Stone & Backbone: Building New York’s Subways presents a look at the construction methods and labor required to build the city’s first subway line at the turn of the 20th Century. Historical artifacts, video and photography footage bring to life the dedication and tenacity of the workers who made this project possible.
Moving the Millions highlights the evolution of the subway and the major issues and events that influenced the development of the largest transportation network in North America. Home to twenty vintage subway and elevated cars dating back to 1907, and a working signal tower, the Museum’s working platform level spans a full city block.
On the Streets: New York’s Trolleys and Buses tells the story of above ground mobility and surface transit from the early 1800s to the present. A 12-seat city bus, “fishbowl” bus cab, walk-don’t walk signs, parking meters, fire hydrants, traffic lights, and an array of other interactive “Street furniture” bring this exhibit to life. Visitors can also learn about the evolution of fuel technologies and its environmental impact.
Fare Collection traces the history of paper tickets, tokens, illegal slugs, MetroCards, and the many turnstile designs (both vintage and contemporary) that have moved commuters through the system since 1904.
No Spitting on the Platform depicts a selection of historic way-finding and platform etiquette signage from the Museum’s archives.
The Dr. George T.F Rahilly Trolley and Bus Study Center features over 50 detailed scale models of trolleys and work cars, with a focus on Brooklyn.
Bringing Back the City: Mass Transit Responds to Crisis
The Transit Museum’s digital Bringing Back the City exhibit offers a unique perspective on the vital, often unseen, work of New York’s transit employees. Using the events of 9/11, the 2003 Northeast Blackout, Hurricane Sandy and other severe weather events as examples, the online exhibition reveals the critical role that mass transit personnel play in preparing for and responding to natural and man-made disasters. Through a vibrant display of objects, photographs, media, and personal accounts, the exhibition highlights the technical and professional skills needed to restore public transportation service and get New Yorkers moving again after crisis strikes.
Bringing Back the City is made possible in part by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Major support is provided by the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and Alstom. Additional support is provided by Interactive Elements Incorporated, Steven J. Vaccaro, Aksia LLC, di Domenico + Partners LLP, and Joseph and Tamra Lhota.
Off-Site Exhibit: Coney Island Museum
Five Cents to Dreamland: A Trip to Coney Island
On view at the Coney Island Museum
From horse-drawn carriages, steamboats, and railroads, to the buses and subways of today, mass transportation has played a pivotal role in Coney Island’s development as a seaside resort, the home of the world’s first amusement parks and the densely populated neighborhood it became. Through objects, maps and images from the Museum’s collection, Five Cents to Dreamland traces the evolution of public transportation in Brooklyn and its storied connections to the wonders of Coney Island both past and present.