There are several things in St. Louis that one must absolutely see while they are in town. Whether you are a native to this beautiful and eclectic city, or a visitor, there is always something to do and see while in town. Which is something to say if you are in town 365 days a year. However, the number one thing must do while in St. Louis is visit the world-famous St. Louis Art Museum.
The St. Louis Art Museum was founded in 1879 as an independent entity of the absolutely amazing Washington University. The museum is located in beautiful Forest Park, however, the museum was originally located in downtown. The reason for its transfer to its current resting place, was the 1904 World’s Fair. Upon the successful move to Forest Park, famed architect Cass Gilbert designed the museum. As one approaches the hauntingly beautiful outer shell of the museum, you will easily read the phrase, “Dedicated to Art and Free to All.”
“…Free to All…” These words have stayed true throughout the ages. It is the Art Museum’s dedication to keeping the admission price as free, which has made it one of America’s most celebrated and visited art museums. By keeping the admission to the museum free, it allows every single individual the opportunity to visit and view some of the greatest art known to mankind – without the acknowledgement of financial status. The St. Louis Art Museum is on of America’s leading museums, with the broad range of art collections under its roof.
The St. Louis Art Museum obtains one of America’s largest and most comprehensive art collections. It is impossible to name every type of artwork that is currently on display at the museum – there is literally an example of artwork from every generation of every culture. Various areas of intense collections include: Oceanic art, pre-Columbian art, ancient Chinese Bronzes, as well as European and American art of the late 19th century and 20th centuries. And by personal experience the massive layout of the various categories is staggering, and one can easily become lost and confused. So take my advice, grab a map of the museum, and mark off every room that you have visited, because trust me, it can become quite overwhelming. However, that is one very intriguing aspect of the museum, one never knows if the hallway truly ends, because there is seemingly an endless number of small hallways and tiny boutique exhibits scattered throughout larger exhibitions. One rule of thumb, wear comfortable shoes!
As well as having the constant exhibits, the St. Louis Art Museum is known for allowing amazing and various traveling exhibits to take rest between its walls. For these wide array of exhibitions that tour the country, there is a small admission fee. However, there is, and never will be, a fee for the main art museum. QUICK TIP: There are never admission fees for special or “featured” exhibitions on Friday’s.
As a visitor to the Art Museum, one will become completely swept away in the world that is laid out before them. One will see how kings slept, and how ancient cultures survived. You will quickly be guided through centuries of art – and life. If you are visiting St. Louis, or live here, you mustn’t pass the Art Museum by. Enjoy your future, by marveling within the past.
St. Louis Art Museum
One Fine Arts Drive
St. Louis, MO 63110