Blue Star Museums Blog (Archive)

What's On View at the Saint Louis Art Museum

St. Louis, Missouri

The Saint Louis Art Museum is one of the nation's leading comprehensive art museums, with collections that include works of art of exceptional quality from virtually every culture and time period. Areas of notable depth include Oceanic art, pre-Columbian art, ancient Chinese bronzes, and European and American art of the late 19th and 20th centuries, with particular strength in 20th century German art.

Here are a few special exhibitions and works of note to visit as you stroll through our galleries:

From June 12 through August 21, we will be embarking on an ambitious conservation project to save a historic treasure: the only surviving panorama of the Mississippi River. This summer, a team of conservators will provide visitors the unique opportunity to view the restoration of this 348-foot-long painting. The Panorama of the Monumental Grandeur of the Mississippi Valley (1850) was commissioned by Dr. Montroville W. Dickeson and created by artist John J. Egan. While the subjects of the panorama vary widely across time and cultures, the Ohio and Mississippi River Valleys serve as the backdrop for many of the 25 scenes. Dickeson exhibited the panorama in the 1850s. The presentations included his own live narration, which made them sort of like an early form of cinema.

John J. Egan, American (born Ireland), 1810–1882; Portsmouth Aboriginal Group in a Storm, scene four from the Panorama of the Monumental Grandeur of the Mississippi Valley, c.1850; distemper on cotton muslin; Saint Louis Art Museum, Eliza McMillan Trust 34:1953

One of the Museum’s great treasures of Chinese painting, Fish Swimming amid Falling Flowers, is on view after more than a decade since its last showing. This work, regarded as the finest extant Chinese pictorial representation of fish, is also the oldest and most important example of Chinese painting in the Museum’s collection. For reasons of conservation and preservation, the scroll can only be displayed for a short time between extended periods in storage---see it while you can!

Attributed to Liu Cai, Chinese, active c.1080–1120; Fish Swimming amid Falling Flowers, late 11th–early 12th century; handscroll: ink and color on silk; 10 3/8 x 100 1/2 inches; Saint Louis Art Museum, William K. Bixby Trust for Asian Art 97:1926.1

Our 20th century holdings include the largest public collection of paintings by Max Beckmann in the world. Also in this collection are signature works by Henri Matisse, Pablo Picasso, and Henry Moore (you’ll have to hunt through our outdoor sculptures to find Moore’s works!), as well as notable paintings by Marc Chagall, Wassily Kandinsky (one of this blogger’s personal favorites), and Amadeo Modigliani.

Amedeo Modigliani, Italian, 1884–1920; Elvira Resting at a Table, 1919; oil on canvas; 36 1/2 x 23 13/16 inches; Saint Louis Art Museum, Gift of Joseph Pulitzer Jr. in memory of his wife, Louise Vauclain Pulitzer 77:1968

Of course, you’ll have to take a trip outside to visit one of the most popular works in the collection: Roxy Paine’s stainless steel, 56-foot-tall tree sculpture Placebo---it’s a great conversation starter for kids and adults alike. But a trip to the Museum with your kids is not complete without a visit to our Egyptian and Arms and Armor collections. You can pick up Family Guides to these and other highlights of the Museum’s collections at the Information Center in Sculpture Hall.

Egyptian, Dynasty 22  (945–712 BC); Mummy Case of Amen-Nestawy-Nakht, c.900 BC; linen, plaster, and pigment; 14 x 16 x 67 inches; Saint Louis Art Museum, Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Barney A. Ebsworth for the children of St. Louis 109:1989

Saint Louis Art Museum
One Fine Arts Drive
Forest Park
St. Louis, Missouri 63110

Please visit the Blue Star Museum website for more information about the program and to find participating museums.

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