Tag Archive | For Want of a Nail

Undersea Life Mural at 81st Street Subway Stop

Undersea Mural
All Photos By Gail

For Want of a Nail is an installation by the MTA Arts for Transit Design Team and the Museum of Natural History consisting of bronze, granite, ceramic and glass mosaic murals. The project represents a study of the evolution of life starting from the big bang to the present day. The southern stairway to the lower level, downtown C Train features a multi-wall ceramic tiel mosaic mural of vibrant ocean life forms.

Undersea Mural Nautilus Detail

See more of the For Want of a Nail project at this post.

Undersea Mural Shark Detail
Shark Attack in the Subway!


81st and Central Park West Subway Stop, Museum of Natural History

Orange Snake
All Photos By Gail

If you happen to be on the NYC Subway, in transit to the American Museum of Natural History via the C Train, and you are not entirely sure which stop to get off at, don’t even worry about it. You will know when you are at the correct station (81st Street) when you see all kinds of colorful tile mosaic creatures crawling along the walls.

Turtle and Lizard

Assorted Lizards

These gorgeous representations of reptiles, fish, insects and other creatures are part of a station-wide mural project (circa 1999) called For Want of a Nail, which also extends onto the stations lower level platform, exit ramp tunnels to the street and on both the uptown and down town stops (all photos in this post were taken on the uptown platform).

Blue Fish

Tortoise and Frog

The theme of For Want of a Nail relates to the interconnectedness of all living things. Animals depicted in grey shadow (such as the giant tortoise, above) are now extinct while living creatures are depicted in color.

Snail Shell

Lady Bugs

Monarch and Caterpillar

There’s always a lot going on at the Museum of Natural History, and it is very easy to get to. You should plan a summer visit right now!

Green Lizard


Bat Tile