For Want of a Nail New York

Image by Geoffrey Dunbar

For Want of a Nail – Subway Art 2

Remember the song “CC Rider”? Some think “CC” refers to the former incarnation of the C Train, when it was called the “CC” which ran local stops for the express A Train (as in “Take the A Train”). That was the train that took revelers to Harlem and the uptown, progressive music scene.

Whatever. Take the C or the B Train to 81st Street-Museum of Natural History to see the subway station art work on your way to the Museum of Natural History.

Why? To see “For Want of a Nail”, the official name of the art installation that is the station walls on the downtown side of the platform. The show begins on the sidewalk.

Using glass and ceramic tile, granite and bronze, the ten key disciplines at the museum are presented graphically in very cool ways: fish fossils in the floor, butterflies, sharks, caterpillars, lizards, even dinosaur fossils oozing out of the walls, looking like solidified oil. Very clever. Extinct animals are portrayed in grey, living ones in color.

There’s not much to say because it’s an experience meant to massage your thoughts and bring to your attention that you’re beneath one of the world’s great museums dedicated to the study of those things and get you “In the Mood”. New York is full of musical references.

You have to get yourself onto the downtown platform to get the most out of this show.

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Details about this spot



American Museum of Natural History, New York

Opening Times

24 hours daily




Last Changed Date: 2016-05-19 11:45:13 +0200 (Thu, 19 May 2016)