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Guide to the Subway Therapy Collection
 MS 3025

New-York Historical Society
170 Central Park West
New York, NY 10024
(212) 873-3400

New-York Historical Society

Collection processed by Larry Weimer

This finding aid was produced using ArchivesSpace on February 10, 2021 using Describing Archives: A Content Standard

Biographical/Historical Note

On Tuesday, 8 November 2016, Americans elected the Republican Party candidate, Donald J. Trump, to succeed Barack Obama as President of the United States. Trump's victory over Democratic Party candidate Hillary Clinton was a surprise, even a severe disappointment, for many Americans, including for residents of New York City who had voted heavily in favor of Clinton.

On the day after the election, artist Matthew "Levee" Chavez initiated a project by which New Yorkers could express their emotions about the election result. He took sticky notes (e.g., Post-its) and pens into the Metropolitan Transit Authority's subway station at Sixth Avenue and 14th Street, and posted the invitation to"Express Yourself" on the tiled walls. On that day and for weeks after, thousands of people did express themselves on the small sticky notes, eventually filling long ranges of the subway station wall, stretching to Union Square.

By mid-December, the initial impulse for the project had run its course and the size of the constantly growing work had made it unsustainable at a major transportation point. Consequently, the artist chose to end the project, removing about 20,000 notes on 16 December 2016. In doing so, by prior arrangement he worked with New-York Historical Society conservator Alan Balicki to preserve about 5,000 of the notes for donation to N-YHS.

For more information, see the artist's website:, which includes links to the press coverage about the project.