The state of the art in Missouri

Yes, I know many of you have longed for this post, ever since you knew we had crossed over the border from Arkansas. Well, here it is.

Yesterday we visited the town of Springfield MO and toured their small but tasteful art museum, supplied with a wide variety of donations received from local art patrons. I remember thinking they surely wouldn’t have a Rembrandt, but probably could manage a Rembrandt etching, and right I was, along with those of Durer, Matisse and Picasso. A nice way for a small museum to approach the masters.

They also had a good collection of Western art, and some modern artists, including our old friends Will Barnet, Grant Wood, Grandma Moses and  Wayne Thiebaud.

There was one standout piece that deserves special mention. You probably knew that Jackson Pollock studied under Thomas Hart Benton at the Art Student League in New York. Tom being a Kansas City boy, they have a lot of his work in the part of the world. But how amazing to see a Pollock done while under the THB influence. Now, that is unusual and it was amazing to see.

Today, we hit the big city, St. Louis. Their lovely Beaux Arts museum was one of the buildings of the St. Louis 1904 World’s Fair, and it overlooks a statue of St. Louis himself, as well as the lake where other pavilions of the fair were located. Gorgeous setting on a gorgeous day.

The collection did not seem to have the scope of Kansas City, but it was very nicely curated, and full of things we like – therefore it is a great museum!

And then there was the City Museum, which was something totally different. It consists largely of repurposed architectural and industrial objects, housed in the former International Shoe building in the Washington Avenue Loft District. (And that is where Buster Brown shoes were made!)

More than an collection of architectural treasures saved from the wrecking ball, this is a place you literally get in to – regardless of your age. Some very clever and imaginative people have put this one together, and it is a marvel of beautiful things and clever play spaces. No wonder it was packed with people having a wonderful time. Bravo, St. Louis – this one is very special!


2 thoughts on “The state of the art in Missouri

  1. Who is the artist of the Trolley Car/bus/train painting in the Springfield gallery?. Ben…? I like that.
    And now you’re in St Louis ( home to namesake airport… well the.Lambert bit, not the Field ),will you be going up the big arch. I never could figure out how that works. Is it like a funicular. Do you go’ over the top’ and down again.?

    1. Will find out the artist, but, yes we liked it too. Re the Arch, there is an enclosed tram that takes you to the top which I guess does the full arc. We’ll have to see if we can tackle that. The view from our hotel might be good enough for the guy with vertigo.

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