Fifth Avenue/59th Street
Urban Oasis, 1997
Glass mosaic on station façade and throughout station
A menagerie of animals and birds from Central Park, rendered in glass mosaic, can be seen throughout the subway station and its facade. "As a painter and teacher," says the artist, "I wanted this piece to appeal to children and to the child in the adult. I'm happy that the work is accessible and touchable." Ann Schaumburger's playful creatures crawl, swim, leap, and fly from floor to ceiling throughout the station in a series of friezes. To prepare her designs, she photographed animals and animal statues in the Central Park Zoo. The result is a series of beguiling animal families grouped by habitat: a tropical rain forest, a polar landscape, and a park environment. "We chose glass rather than ceramic for the mosaics because of its greater translucency and color gradation," says Schaumburger. "And I selected a color palette that echoes the colors in the station's original historic tile work, much of which has been retained."
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