Look up: Tile artists' work hidden in plain view


NEW YORK (AP) — Millions of people walk under them every day at Grand Central Terminal's Oyster Bar, the Boston Public Library, the San Diego Museum of Man and hundreds of other places. They are arched domes and ceilings that are tiled in an array of herringbone and basket-weave patterns.

But Rafael Guastavino (gway-stah-VEE'-noh) and his son Rafael Jr. are largely forgotten as the makers of these sweeping vaults of exposed tiles that provide both decorative and structural elements.

A new exhibition at the Museum of the City of New York tells the compelling story of the master masons. Between the late 1800s and the time their company closed in 1962, their work appeared in 1,000 buildings in 42 states.

"Palaces for the People: Guastavino and the Art of Structural Tile" showcases their 250 New York commissions.

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