Subway Art Mystery

So there’s this artwork in the subway (one of the “art for transit” pieces) that has two tombstones, one saying “Emilie Muse, 1-23-06,” and the other, “Sludgy, 4-18-07.” It keeps taunting me, and finally I did the Google.

The “Emilie muse, 1-23-06” tombstone would have been for Emilie Neumann Muse, who, amongst other things, swam the English Channel. This NY Times obit summarizes (and then says more) as follows:

Emilie Neumann Muse, who as a young woman exemplified the crazy, flamboyant competitiveness of the 20’s and 30’s by swimming in treacherous waters, wrestling alligators, jumping out of airplanes and being buried alive, died on Jan. 23 in East Patchogue, N.Y. She was 98.

“Sludgy, 4-18-07” turns out to have been a baby whale that got stuck in the Gowanus Canal a day or two prior to that date and then struck a jetty and passed on.