Art Collection

Public Art in Transit:  Over the Years

The Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) has been a long time advocate of implementing artwork into station design to create a friendly and welcoming atmosphere for the commuting public. The MBTA is home to the nation’s first art in transit collection and formalized art program which began in 1967. The subway, bus rapid transit, and commuter rail provide the public with a gallery of wonderful artwork to be enjoyed on one’s daily journey.

This catalogue and guide represents a handy reference for all travelers on the T, whether a daily commuter or a public art visitor. For the first time, this catalogue highlights the entire world class public art program and collection. From the Red Line’s “Art On the Line”, to the poetry of eighteen Massachusetts poets and writers in the “Arts in Transit: Southwest Corridor”, to the historic and commemorative mural installations on the Commuter Rail, Fairmount Line, Blue Line, Red Line and Silver Line.

The present collection has grown to over ninety pieces on six transit lines, the most recent installations of a hologram lenticular mural at World Trade Center, stained glass windows at Airport, glazed tiles at Aquarium, anodized photographic mural at North Station, and the loan of “The Partisans” bronze sculpture at World Trade Center station plaza.

Today the MBTA continues to implement artwork through in-house efforts and community-based programs. The community programs include historic and commemorative murals that tell the story of the neighborhoods through which the T travels.  Along each stop on the Silver Line from Dudley Square to Downtown Boston, bronze relief historic markers in the sidewalk and panels illustrate the “Then and Now” transition from Lower Roxbury to the South End to Chinatown through the themes of Transportation, Urban Renewal, Revitalization, Architecture, Institutions, Social Life and People. On the Fairmount Line, Uphams Corner and Morton Street stations display murals of the neighborhood’s history of transportation, community, and architecture while Red Line stations at Mattapan, Fields Corner, Shawmut, and Savin Hill depict the history and diversity of those neighborhoods. 

Through community art collaborations, Jackson Square station on the Orange Line now boasts boldly colored painted concrete columns in the busway and iconic murals within the station.
 
The MBTA invites you to use this guide to highlight and perhaps pause on your daily commute to note the artists and the collection, or to plan a tour by line.

Commuter RailCommuter Rail Art PDF
Commuter Rail Art DOC

 

Blue LineBlue Line Art PDF
Blue Line Art DOC

 

Green LineGreen Line Art PDF
Green Line Art DOC

 

Orange LineOrange Line Art PDF 
Orange Line Art DOC

 

Red LineRed Line Art PDF 
Red Line Art DOC

 

Silver LineSilver Line Art PDF 
Silver Line Art DOC

 



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