Art/Design, News & Events

Two artists turn subway station into Ruth Bader Ginsburg tribute

Welcome to “Ruth St.”

words by: Sahar Khraibani
Sep 25, 2020

As the nation continues to mourn the loss of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg (nicknamed The Notorious RBG—and on that note, if you haven’t seen the Hulu documentary yet, now would be the perfect time for it), who died last week at the age of 87, two artists decided to pay tribute and honor the memory of the judge in a subway station.


A Brooklynite herself, nothing screams more New York than being memorialized in the city’s historically nefarious subway system. Artist Adrian Wilson, known for many other works or urban interventions – most of which are commemorative – reworked the mosaic sign in the 50th Street Subway Station in Manhattan to read “Ruth St.” instead. To achieve the effect, the artist collaborated with his friend, artist Matt Duncan, to create vinyl stickers that mimic the effect of the mosaic tiles. 

By Saturday, September 19, both the downtown and uptown signs of the subway station boasted the amended “Ruth St.” sign. It is unclear why the artists selected that subway station in particular, perhaps it was the easiest to amend and fit the letters in the judge’s name, but this serves as a reminder to the creative spirit and resiliency of New York City, even amidst immense grief.


Photo via Adrian Wilson/Matt Duncan