City As Canvas: FEB 4 - SEPT 21, 2014

The first time exhibition of works from the expansive street art collection of Martin Wong.

Martin Wong, an East Village artist and collector of graffiti art, amassed a treasure trove of hundreds of works on paper and canvas—in aerosol, ink, and other mediums. The artists, including Keith Haring, Lee Quiñones, LADY PINK, and FUTURA 2000, were seminal figures in an artistic movement that spawned a worldwide phenomenon, altering music, fashion, and popular visual culture. The exhibition City as Canvas: Graffiti Art from the Martin Wong Collection includes over 150 works on canvas and other media, along with photographs of graffiti writing long erased from subways and buildings.

Wong, who died of AIDS in 1999, donated his collection to the City Museum in 1994.

Read the press release.

The companion publication for City as Canvas is sponsored by Mrs. Florence Wong Fie and The Martin Wong Foundation.

Education programs in conjunction with the exhibition are made possible by a grant from the
Keith Haring Foundation Inc.

Keith Haring Foundation logo

Breakdancing Sessions
Date and Time: Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays (conditions permitting); 11:30 am
Spray art and b-boys in the house…this summer, we're bringing the four elements of hip-hop together right in our rotunda. Join Hush Tours for hip hop and breakdancing sessions each week.

Uptown Bounce: Summer Nights @ 104th & FIfth
Date and Time: Wednesdays, July 30, August 6 & 13; 6:00–9:00 pm
Def Jam Recordings founder Cey Adams and collage artist Greg Lamarche trace the evolution of the graffiti movement with moderator Dave "Chino" Villorente.

Blade: King of Graffiti
Date and Time: Friday, August 8; 6:30 pm
In a rare event, the pioneering graffiti artist BLADE, aka Steve Ogburn, joins us for a panel discussion and book signing.

Stations of the Elevated: New York Graffiti on Film
Date and Time: Thursday, August 14; 6:30 pm
Completed in 1980, this lyrical, rarely seen documentary captures the exuberant height of the graffiti movement in New York.

See all City as Canvas programs >>

View Video

Watch artists Leonard “Futura 2000” McGurr, Sandra “Lady Pink” Fabara, Lee Quiñones, and others speak about City As Canvas—the first exhibition of graffiti art from the Martin Wong Collection.

  • Press

    • "Writing Was on the Wall, and Some Still Remains,” Ken Johnson, The New York Times
    • "A Museum Honors the Glory Days of Graffiti Art,” Rita Braver, CBS Sunday Morning
    • "City as Canvas: An Exhibition of New York Graffiti Art,” Ariella Budick, Financial Times
    • "City as Canvas: Graffiti Art from the Martin Wong Collection,” Alex Fialho, Art Forum
    • "City as Canvas Celebrates the Golden Age of Graffiti,” Mike Dunphy, Metro New York

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    James G. Dinan and Elizabeth R. Miller Gallery
    First Floor