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MTA Arts & Design


81st Street-Museum of Natural History

Arts for Transit Collaborative

For Want of a Nail, 2000

Glass and ceramic mosaic, handmade ceramic relief tiles, hand-cast glass, bronze and cut granite floor tiles throughout station

In For Want of a Nail, the artist team used a variety of materials to suggest the range and diversity at the American Museum of Natural History, directly above the subway station. Glass mosaic, glass tile, ceramic tile, granite, and bronze relief are combined in ways that highlight the ten key disciplines at the Museum. The mosaics represent extinct and living animals, the former in grey and the latter in color. The work assembles images from outer space to the earth's core and from the first organisms to emerge to mammals of today. The artwork was a collaboration between MTA Arts for Transit and the Museum. For Want of a Nail, the title of an old proverb, asks the viewer to consider the way everything is connected.

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