Grand Central Terminal is one of New York’s most famous and most loved buildings (Secrets of Grand Central Terminal is one of Untapped New York’s most popular tours!), but most commuters don’t know that the Terminal is home to an abundance of public art installations. Many of these pieces are passed by thousands of commuters every day.
On January 27 at 12 p.m., Untapped New York’s Chief Experience Officer, Justin Rivers, will help you to uncover all of the overlooked artwork inside the terminal on this unique look at an iconic building! Discover a massive glass sculpture that was just installed, find out how much the world’s most expensive art installation costs, and learn more about lesser-known pieces you may have never noticed. Learn about the storied art school which also doubled as the largest gallery in America (also see what that space is today). See how Grand Central recently played host to the most expensive piece of art in history. Explore a giant new piece of art recently unveiled during the pandemic. Find a long-hidden mural that was just uncovered again in 2020. Artist Ellen Driscoll, creator of a suite of glass and mosaic works in Grand Central, As Above, So Below, will join Justin at the talk. This event is free for Untapped New York Insiders. If you’re not a member yet, join now (and get your first month free with the code JOINUS).
The Art Inside Grand Central Terminal
With works by some of the world’s most famous artists and sculptures that have defined midtown Manhattan (along with a long-forgotten school of art), Grand Central Terminal is an art museum in itself. Established in 1923, the Grand Central School of Art (yes, this was real) was located on the sixth floor of Grand Central Terminal on the western side. The art school was an offshoot of the Grand Central Art Galleries, founded the year prior by a collective of artists, including John Singer Sargent, Walter Leighton Clark, and Edmund Greacen. The Grand Central School of Art enrolled 900 students at its peak, featuring names like Arshile Gorky, Daniel Chester French, Willem de Kooning, and Norman Rockwell,
Among the artworks in Grand Central Terminal are Donald Lispki’s Sirshasana, a sculptural chandelier shaped like a golden-rooted olive tree; Roberto Juarez’s mural A Field of Wild Flowers that depicts a lush garden landscape with all sorts of colorful flora; the Graybar Passage Mural painted in 1927 by Edward Trumbull; and two cast-iron eagle sculptures. Guastavino Tiles, constructed by the Guastavino Company of father-son Spanish immigrants, appear in a number of locations in Grand Central Terminal, including the Whispering Gallery. And of course, the Main Concourse’s ceiling has been compared to looking up into a starry sky, as the mural contains over 2,500 stars against a turquoise background. The mural was actually originally painted backward, with west being east and vice versa.
Ellen Driscoll’s As Above, So Below pays homage to the Main Concourse’s heritage by taking the viewer on a journey to the night sky above five different continents. The work’s tableaux detail myths of the continents and their civilizations, the heavens, and the underworld. Scenes depict the birth of the world, the sun’s daily transit, the stars in their courses, and the fates and fortunes of mortals and deities.
On January 27 at 12 p.m., Untapped New York’s Chief Experience Officer, Justin Rivers, will help you to uncover all of the overlooked artwork inside the terminal on this unique look at an iconic building! This event is free for Untapped New York Insiders. If you’re not a member yet, join now (and get your first month free with the code JOINUS).
The Art Inside Grand Central Terminal
Next, check out 12 Beautiful Works of Art to Discover in Grand Central Terminal!