A Chuck Close Museum in the New York City Subway. Admission: $2.50

I kind of want to move to the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Actually, not really, but I may visit more often once the new 2nd Avenue Subway line is up and running in 2016. And that's because New York's Metropolitan Transportation Authority Arts for Transit has made the uncommonly wise decision to commission murals from artists such as Chuck Close


That means you can get admission to a world-class art museum for $2.50 (although there will most likely be at least one, if not several, fare hikes by 2016), which is still cheaper than the pay-what-you-wish Saturday evenings at the Guggenheim. And the lines are shorter. 

Some critics may see the reportedly $1 million commission as a frivolous expenditure. Chuck Close, who will be painting as many as 12 separate mosaics, disagrees. He told Big Think that more money is spent on admission to see art museums in New York City than Yankees games, notwithstanding the $200 a seat price at a Yankee game versus $10 to get into MoMA. According to Close, the economic benefit of the arts to the city is simply enormous. 

"Every dollar spent in the arts has about $100 in return," he says, "in terms of the way it moves through society, whether it’s hotel rooms, and the people who are making the beds, and the people who are carrying the luggage, and the bartenders in the bars, and the people who run the restaurants. That dollar re-circulates about 100 times."

Watch the video here:

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Follow Daniel Honan on Twitter @Daniel Honan

Related Articles

Human skeletal stem cells isolated in breakthrough discovery

It's a development that could one day lead to much better treatments for osteoporosis, joint damage, and bone fractures.

Image: Nissim Benvenisty
Surprising Science
  • Scientists have isolated skeletal stem cells in adult and fetal bones for the first time.
  • These cells could one day help treat damaged bone and cartilage.
  • The team was able to grow skeletal stem cells from cells found within liposuctioned fat.
Keep reading Show less

How exercise helps your gut bacteria

Gut bacteria play an important role in how you feel and think and how well your body fights off disease. New research shows that exercise can give your gut bacteria a boost.

National Institutes of Health
Surprising Science
  • Two studies from the University of Illinois show that gut bacteria can be changed by exercise alone.
  • Our understanding of how gut bacteria impacts our overall health is an emerging field, and this research sheds light on the many different ways exercise affects your body.
  • Exercising to improve your gut bacteria will prevent diseases and encourage brain health.
Keep reading Show less

Giving octopuses ecstasy reveals surprising link to humans

A groundbreaking new study shows that octopuses seemed to exhibit uncharacteristically social behavior when given MDMA, the psychedelic drug commonly known as ecstasy.

Image: damn_unique via Flickr
Surprising Science
  • Octopuses, like humans, have genes that seem to code for serotonin transporters.
  • Scientists gave MDMA to octopuses to see whether those genes translated into a binding site for serotonin, which regulates emotions and behavior in humans
  • Octopuses, which are typically asocial creatures, seem to get friendlier while on MDMA, suggesting humans have more in common with the strange invertebrates than previously thought
Keep reading Show less