The MBTA’s on the Hunt For the Artist Who Made Murals at Government Center

They want to return them since the station's getting remodeled.

image via MBTA

image via MBTA


An MBTA official told Boston that after lots of news and social media coverage about the artwork, “the artist has been found.”

Mary Beams was located in Minnesota, T officials said. “MBTA staff had a very good conversation with her. There will be discussions over the course of the next weeks on what future course of action will be taken,” said MBTA spokesman Joe Pesaturo.

Originally, the T said they wanted to return the murals to Beams since they were deteriorating. But when asked if the artwork might stay in Boston and be restored in some way, Pesaturo said “a variety of possibilities will be discussed.”

Pesaturo said the murals were made in 1978, and were supposed to go in North Station. Instead, due to space constraints, they were installed at Government Center a year later.


As the MBTA tears down Government Center Station preparing for renovations, officials have made some rather fascinating discoveries. Aside from unearthing some dated Scollay Square mosaics, they also had some other artwork to deal with.

On Thursday, the transit agency put a call out to the public to try and locate the person responsible for creating a series of large murals that have been adorning the walls of the station near City Hall for almost half-a-century ago.

MBTA officials said they were looking for Mary Beams, so they can give back 19 painted pieces of wood, each measuring approximately 4-feet-by-8-feet in size.

“Due to reconstruction at the MBTA Government Center Station, we would like to return [them],” the T said in a statement. “If we are unable to reach Mary Beams, we will store the artworks but cannot guarantee that we will keep them beyond 90 days.”

A spokesman for the transit agency said they aren’t too sure about the history of the large paintings, which show people riding the Green Line, due to less-than-perfect record-keeping 40 or so years ago. “To date, staff has found no evidence of a contract nor other type of agreement with the artist,” they told Boston.

They said the reason for taking down the works, while an important part of Government Center’s storied history, was because they are in poor condition and would require costly restoration work.

If anyone has information as to the whereabouts of the artist, they’re encourage to contact Marggie Lackner, the MBTA’s director of design and architecture, at