Throughout the late 1960s and early 1970s in large cities all over the United States, children invented a new art form that started with writing their names on walls in their neighborhoods. Local governments launched cleaning campaigns and mandated that young writers be arrested for their vandalism, but the movement could not be stopped. Unrelenting young people forged ahead at a feverish pace with creative innovations and inspired generations of new practitioners. In no time, the wall writings quickly developed to become more elaborate and decorative. Taking on unique and distinguishable signifiers like arrows, crowns and other innovations through design and color, this became the blueprint for tags, throw-ups, masterpieces, and the elaborate works seen today.
Fifty years later, the Museum of Graffiti was formed to preserve graffiti’s history and celebrate its emergence in design, fashion, advertising, and galleries. The Museum experience includes an indoor exhibition space, eleven exterior murals, a fine art gallery, and a world-class gift shop stocked with limited edition merchandise and exclusive items from the world’s most talented graffiti artists.
Our mission: Exhibit, educate, and celebrate the thousands of graffiti artists who have transformed walls in our public spaces into vibrant masterpieces.
Once ephemeral - painted on walls and subway trains, only to be dissolved away by the cleaning crews - graffiti has gone mainstream with a vengeance. To fully appreciate the current position of the movement, it is essential to know and understand the work of the original graffiti artists, who started tagging in the New York subways in the early 1970s. The Museum’s permanent exhibition will feature paintings, mixed media sculptures, and interactive installations that will allow visitors to travel through time and learn about the evolution of the worldwide graffiti art movement.