Yesterday we spent several hours at the St.Louis Art Museum. I have loved this art museum since I was a child when it was the only one I had ever seen. The statue of St.Louis on his horse has greeted museum goers since the museum was founded, I presume around the time of the St.Louis World's Fair. Here we found him, against the winter sky.
The large entrance hall (not as large as in my memories) displays fewer statues than I remember from the past. Above is one of the most impressive of them, a work by Marcus Lupertz from 1986 -- so it wasn't one that I would have seen as a child.
We began with the temporary exhibit of works by Federico Barocci, borrowed from many world-famous collections, and especially from his native Urbino. I suspect that if I had seen one or two of his paintings in a museum in Italy (as in fact I probably have done) I wouldn't have found him remarkable. However, the exhibit highlighted his method of creating compositions by showing numerous studies and drawings as he did them for each work. The result was captivating. I may write more about this experience later.
Looking across the Entrance Hall Towards the Entrance to the Barocci Exhibit
After lunch in the little museum cafe, we continued with some African art, which I may also describe in greater detail later. The man on a horse (above) is a puppet from Mali, made in the 1960s. As so often happens with tribal works, the museum doesn't know the name of the artist. I have heard that people in cultures that made such objects often did know the names of the artists, but that the collectors never bothered to ask, though of course I know nothing detailed about this example. Ruby is visible behind the puppet through the display case at right. We continued with a brief walk through a few other galleries.
Van Gogh: Factories at Clichy
Van Gogh: Detail of figures in Factories at Clichy
Here are Ruby, Jay, and Len in front of a Monet water lily painting. The museum owns many fabulous masterpieces; of course we had time for not much besides the two exhibits we chose. And now I'm on the way home from St.Louis, and it might be a while before I return to this old favorite museum.