St. Louis Art Museum in Forest Park

One of the coolest parts of St. Louis is Forest Park. It is twice the size of central park and was where the 1904 World’s Fair was held. The park is so huge it contains a zoo, several museums, planetarium, golf course, sports fields, tennis courts, and wooded trails. We actually needed a map not to get lost in it and if it wasn’t so hot that day we definitely would have spent some time just walking around. Parking can be a challenge, but we got there early and found a spot.

After doing some research, we decided to go to the art museum and heat was the major factor. I have heard lots of great things about the Zoo and the history museum had some interest as well, but overall the art museum was our pick. When we arrived I was glad we did, because the Art museum is on a hill with beautiful views of the grounds and some fountains. There is also a giant statue of St. Louis that was very pretty.

Gorgeous building
Its not a great picture of the fountains, but they were huge and very pretty. Reminded me of Versailles.

Inside was also gorgeous with marble floors and columns and of course it was a maze. I understand the benefit of having smaller galleries to allow people to look at the art in a less crowded space, but I spend a ton of my time in art museums making sure we don’t miss anything. We spent several hours walking through the space and I am still not sure I saw it all.

I am not particularly educated in fine arts and it is a ton of work to go through every picture and name the artist, so I am not going to do that. What I will do is share the pieces of art that spoke to me personally but please keep in mind this is only a fraction of what this museum has to offer. I clocked over 8,000 steps walking through the museum though and we looked at a lot of art. In general I would say they had a terrific collection of Dutch Masters which I enjoyed and I really liked the Polynesian art section which was somewhat unusual.

This is one of their most famous pictures “Sadak in Search of The Waters of Oblivion” by John Martin in 1812. Lee almost got a T-Shirt with the picture, but went with one that said “Art Still Has Truth Take Refuge There”.
I looked at this picture for a long time. What struck me was the moustache on the young woman’s face. Two reasons, first most women get waxed in todays world and secondly it shows the amount of detail by the artist.
This picture caught my attention because it was in a room full of ornate and elaborate art and I was struck by its simplicity.
I also loved this picture of three sisters. Since I have three girls it reminded me of them.
This was a fantastically detailed still art piece. It looked like you could drink from the glass.
They had some great African American art as well which I always like to see

Paintings aside I really love sculpture and there was tons from all over the world.

This camel amazed me because it was very old and huge. I was surprised it survived.
This cool helmet isn’t a sculpture but I mentally put it in that category. The museum has a decent selection of armor.

Along with the sculptures there was a huge wing of modern art. As I have stated before that is not my favorite, but they had some cool pieces and a large section of art furniture as well.

This box installation was really interesting. If you look closely you can see Lee on the other side.
This sculpture made out of drawers was super cool. The picture doesn’t do it justice

As I mentioned before the Polynesian art area was really special. It’s just not something you see much of and they had an extensive collection.

On one of the floors there was a nice little courtyard and we stepped outside and sat for a minute. Art overload is definitely a thing and I sat by the waterfall and just enjoyed the quiet for a minute.

Another unusual section was full of Jewish art. This is also something I have rarely seen, but the collection was very nice.

Another thing I have never seen before (and would have missed if it wasn’t for Lee) was was a giant moving panorama. Unrolled it’s 348 feet long and the museum carefully rolls the panel to change the display section once a quarter. Very neat although I wish we could have actually seen the back section, but it was walled off. A glass room to see the mechanism would have been neat.

The only portion of the museum I found somewhat disappointing was the sculpture area. To be fair we did that last and I was pretty tired by then, but for me it was just ok. The exception was a giant “wheel “installation that was below ground. We had seen it through windows in the basement of the museum and it was even neater seeing it from the outside.

And just to show art is different for everyone, here are some of Lee’s favorites.

At the end , we spent some time in the gift store and I ended up getting a collapsible vase. I wasn’t sure if it would work, but turns out it works beautifully and it’s perfect for the RV lifestyle!! I miss having fresh flowers because I didn’t want to take up space for a vase, but this one collapses flat when emptied and takes up no room at all. Highly recommend if you see one on your travels.

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