From decades-old murals that have recently undergone renovations to more recent subway art commissioned by the MTA, here's a shortlist of the best murals in Harlem—and where to find them.
Use it to go on your own personal tour, from south to north:
1. Graffiti Hall of Fame by various artists
East Harlem Park Ave and E 106th St
This mural spelling out "Harlem" at the Graffiti Hall of Fame was last updated in 2019 by Bronx-based artists Tats Cru and others.
2. Young Gifted & Harlem by Ronald Draper
Central Harlem Morningside Ave and W 120th st
Contemporary artist Ronald Draper's mural covers an entire wall of PS 180 Hugo Newman, inspiring both its young students and passersby.
3. Spirit of Harlem by Louis Delsarte
Central Harlem Southeast corner of 125th St and Frederick Douglass Blvd
Commissioned by North Fork Bank in 2005, this colorful glass mosaic was bricked over by a sneaker store in 2017. After a public outcry, it was quickly restored.
4. Flying Home: Harlem Heroes and Heroines by Faith Ringgold
Central Harlem 125th Street station on the 2 and 3 lines, Lenox Ave and 125th St
This series of glass mosaic murals along the subway platform shows various historical figures, from Malcolm X to Josephine Baker, flying over well-known Harlem locations.
5. Planet Harlem by Paul Deo
Central Harlem Northwest corner of Malcolm X Blvd and 126th St
A playful mural depicting everyone from Langston Hughes to Barack Obama coming together to rejoice in their achievements.
6. Crack Is Wack by Keith Haring
East Harlem Crack is Wack Playground, E 127th St and Second Ave
Thanks to a restoration in 2019, Keith Haring’s Crack Is Wack mural on a handball court—first painted in 1986, at the height of the crack epidemic—is just like new.
7. Dizzy Gillespie by Brandan Bmike Odums and Marthalicia Matarrita
Central Harlem 229 W 135th St between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Frederick Douglass Blvds
This towering mural—it takes up the whole wall of a building—celebrates the famous jazz artist's 100th birthday.
8. Homage to Seurat: La Grande Jatte in Harlem by Eva Cockcroft
West Harlem Northwest corner of Amsterdam Ave and Hamilton Pl
Using Georges Seurat's famous pointillist painting as inspiration, Eva Cockcroft put her own spin by depicting various African Americans enjoying a leisurely afternoon. Originally painted in 1986, the mural was restored in 2009.
9. Parade by Derek Fordjour
Central Harlem 145th Street Station on the 3 line, Lenox Ave and 145th St
These dazzling glass mosaics celebrate Harlem's legacy of parades via rows of impossibly limber line majors, hip-swaying dancers, and feathered-hat wearing drummers.
10. Bill "Bojangles" Robinson mural by Brandon Adams
Central Harlem Bill "Bojangles" Robinson Playground, 269 W 150th St between Adam Clayton Powell Jr. and Frederick Douglass Blvds
This recently-restored mural of Bill "Bojangles" Robinson is right across the street from the Dunbar Apartments, where the famed tap dancer once lived.
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