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1 Fine Arts Drive - Forest Park
Saint Louis, Missouri
Phone: 314 721 0072 --
TTY: (314) 721-4807
Oriental, Western, Oceanic, African, pre-Columbian, Renaissance and Northern European artworks.
The Saint Louis Art Museum was conceived on the model of the Victoria and Albert, global in scope to show the region's citizens significant examples of fine and applied arts from all periods and places, yet firmly committed to the art of the present. It opened to the public in 1881, and from the beginning enjoyed widespread community support.
The Saint Louis Art Museum is a comprehensive museum with collections ranging from ancient to contemporary. The building itself is an historic landmark. Designed by famed architect Cass Gilbert as the only permanent structure for the 1904 World's Fair, the Museum stands atop Art Hill in Forest Park. Today with more than half a million visitors a year and an educational program that serves more people per capita (424,000) than any museum in the country, The Saint Louis Art Museum ranks among the nation's top ten art museums, and is always alive with activity. The oldest publicly funded museum in the country, The Saint Louis Art Museum remains true to the inscription over its north entrance: "Dedicated to Art and Free to All."
The Saint Louis Art Museum claims an exceptionally balanced comprehensive collection: European Old Masters, Ancient and Medieval Art, Twentieth-century Art, Decorative Arts and Design, the arts of Africa, Oceania and the Americas, and Asian Arts.
The Museum has preeminent collection concentration in several areas, including Oceanic Art, with works from every Oceanic culture; Pre-Columbian art, spanning every area from Peru to the Rio Grande before 1492; extremely rare Chinese bronzes dating from the 16th century B.C. through the 13th century A.D.; 20th Century German Art, built around the largest collection of Max Beckmann paintings in the world; and Contemporary European and American Paintings and Sculpture.
Each collecting area has exceptional works of art in addition to those areas of extraordinary depth. For example, a Reclining Pan, attributed to Montorsoli, considered one of the finest examples of Renaissance sculpture in the U.S.; Matisse, Bathers with a Turtle, (1908); and, in the Asian Collection, Fish Swimming Amid Falling Flowers, (12th century). The Museum retains its enthusiasm for the art of the present, continuing its historical tilt to the modern. Recent acquisitions have included a monumental Anselm Kiefer sculpture, The Breaking of the Vessels, and Matazo Kayama's six-panel screen, Tanabata, a gift in part from the Japan America Society of St. Louis.
Popular favorites include the Impressionism collection, the Medieval gallery, the Period Rooms, and the Egyptian Mummy, which is currently on view with a full-size X-ray for a "look inside." Visitors are also attracted to the American and European collections with works by such artists as Rembrandt, Monet, van Gogh, Picasso, Matisse, Gaugin, Cassatt, Cezanne, Degas, Goya, Gainsborough, Bingham, Georgia O'Keefe, and Winslow Homer.
Brent Benjamin, Director
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