For most, going to work and completing the tasks assigned to us are things we do out of the public's eye. Now, our coworkers are usually partially or totally aware of what's going on (depending upon their level of nosiness, that is), but the community generally isn't observing our work on a day-to-day basis. Unless you happen to manage a professional baseball team, but that's a whole different story. This unintended job secrecy leads to a tremendous amount of curiosity -- what happens in all of these office buildings in the area, and how do those jobs get done? While it might not be super-exciting to learn how a loan originates, for example, watching how an art restorer tackles a task has to be more thrilling than sitting in front of a glowing screen all day. This summer, in the Main Exhibition Galleries of the Saint Louis Art Museum in Forest Park (314-721-0072 or www.slam.org), we all will have the opportunity to witness the art behind bringing a piece of one-of-a-kind history back from the brink, as conservators work to save the Panorama of the Monumental Grandeur of the Mississippi Valley (1850). This 348-foot-long painting by John J. Egan, features 25 scenes, most of which are set near the Ohio and Mississippi rivers, offering an almost-forgotten view into our past. Keep an eye on "Restoring an American Treasure," as this conservation effort is called, for free all summer long (from Sunday, June 12, through Sunday, August 21; the museum is closed on Mondays), and feel free to revel in the completed work and a job well done come August.
Tuesdays-Sundays; Mon., July 4. Starts: June 12. Continues through Aug. 21, 2011