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MTA Arts & Design


Cortlandt Street

Margie Hughto

Trade, Treasure and Travel, 1997/2011

Handmade ceramic relief tiles in underpass and platform

Trade, Treasure and Travel by Margie Hughto was originally installed at the Cortlandt Street Station passageway that connected uptown and downtown N/R trains with the World Trade Center concourse. Although the station itself was seriously damaged on September 11, 2001, the artwork was not affected and was later removed for the construction of Dey Street Concourse to the Fulton Center. In 2011, the work has been reinstalled in the new underpass connecting the Cortlandt station with the nearby Fulton Center.

The artist, Margie Hughto said, at the time, "I thought about all the different peoples, products, objects, and money that passed through the area, and I visualized a treasure vault filled with coins, gems, and artifacts - rich, golden, glowing, and somewhat mysterious."

The re-installed artwork is comprised of 11 thematically related hand-made bas-relief ceramic tile panels relating to finance and trade - coins, compasses, boats, streetcars, keys, and ships as well as creatures connected to the sea and trade. These consist of real (horses, lions, tortoises, fish) and mythical (griffins and a sphinx) creatures. Central images feature a bull and a bear, the financial world's warring mascots, and a large old-fashioned compass and a chart of stars by which mariners found their way.

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