In the 1970s and 1980s, subway trains from Brooklyn to the Bronx were covered in millions of graffiti tags. The NYC subway was the beating heart of the graffiti movement, and it gave rise to some of the most famous street artists and photographers in graffiti history. But at the same time, the New York City metro system was the site of violence and crime, giving rise to the Guardian Angels, a volunteer organization to keep the subways safe. In 1989, the MTA began to fight back against the underground artists with the Clean Train Movement, and now subway cars are (mostly) stripped of the old school writing. With the crackdown on subway graffiti, artists moved to other canvases like walls and rooftops. In an effort to capture the birthplace of the New York graffiti movement, here are 20 Vintage New York Graffiti Photos from the subways to the streets.

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