Best Museum St. Louis 2004 - Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis
The Contemporary is the new incarnation of the beloved, decades-old Forum for Contemporary Art, so its opening last September was accompanied by high expectations. It also had a new Brad Cloepfil building to deal with, a fairly prominent next-door neighbor (the Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts), a new director (Paul Ha) and an ambitious inaugural exhibition (A Fiction of Authenticity: Contemporary Africa Abroad). The stakes were high, but the Contemporary has succeeded spectacularly, with high attendance and great reviews. It's also become the best place in town to hear world-class artists and curators speak, while it continues to support regional artists and local causes. The cocktail hours and annual Dada Ball aren't bad either.