Museum Exhibits and Events Events in St. Louis

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Pulitzer Prize Photographs and In Focus: St. Louis Post-Dispatch Photographs

Through Jan. 20, 2020
Missouri History Museum 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis St. Louis - Forest Park

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Photographs are a key element of narrative storytelling, which is why it's so baffling that newspapers have deemed staff photographers an expendable luxury. You probably recognize many of the photographs that won Pulitzer Prizes, from Joe Rosenthal's shot Raising the Flag on Iwo Jima, to Alan Diaz's memorable photo of U.S. federal agents seizing Elian Gonzalez, to St. Louis Post-Dispatch photographer Robert Cohen's 2014 image of a protestor throwing a tear-gas canister back at police while protesting the killing of Michael Brown. These photographs shock us, inspire feelings of pride and anger, and inform us, just as great written journalism does. The Newseum in Washington created a traveling exhibit of some of the most beautiful images to win the Pulitzer, and it's a show that will make its St. Louis debut on Saturday, August 3, at the Missouri History Museum (5700 Lindell Boulevard; www.mohistory.org). A second exhibition organized by the Missouri History Museum collected 75 photos of everyday life in St. Louis from the Post-Dispatch archives. Pulitzer Prize Photographs and In Focus: St. Louis Post-Dispatch Photographs remain on display through January 20, and admission is free. Parents are cautioned that some of the photographs are intense and may be too much for younger children. 314-746-4599

Foundations of Freedom

Wednesdays-Sundays. Continues through Jan. 31
Field House Museum 634 S. Broadway, St. Louis St. Louis - Downtown

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Dred Scott was a slave who'd been taken from Missouri, a slave state, to Illinois, a free one. Yet he remained in bondage. In 1846 Scott sued for freedom from enslavement for himself and his wife Harriet, arguing that his two years of residing in a free state should make him a citizen under the doctrine of "once free, always free." The case was fought in various courts from 1846 to 1857, with victories and setbacks along the way. After the Scotts' patron could no longer pay their legal fees, St. Louis attorney Roswell Field took the case pro bono and continued the fight to win the Scotts' freedom. It was an unpopular cause in Missouri, but the Scotts' eventual defeat helped further stiffen the spine of the abolitionist cause. Roswell Field's home is now the Field House Museum, which opens its new exhibition, Foundations of Freedom, in honor of Black History Month. The exhibit tells the story of the Scotts' long legal struggle, other freedom suits and the national conversation about the legality of slavery in the nineteenth century. Foundations of Freedom opens Saturday, February 2, at the Field House Museum (634 South Broadway; www.eugenefieldhouse.org). It remains on display through January 31, 2020, and the museum is open Wednesday through Sunday. Admission is $5 to $10. 314-421-4689

Missouri Day: Celebrating Missouri’s Artistic Heritage

Wed., Oct. 16, 10 a.m.-3 p.m.


For nearly 200 years Missouri has served as a hub for artistic innovation. From quilt making to oil painting, and from Ragtime to blacksmithing, Missouri has been the birthplace of hundreds of folk artists, musicians, authors, dancers, actors, and more. Join us at the First Missouri State Capitol State Historic Site on Missouri Day to celebrate Missouri’s unique and longstanding love of the arts. During this family friendly event visitors will be able to engage with modern artists and learn about the history of the arts in our state. There will be crafts, music, dance, games, storytelling, and more! 636-940-3322

Garden Party Lights

Thursdays-Sundays, 6 p.m. Continues through Oct. 19


If you don't live in an air-conditioned place, the Missouri Botanical Garden (4434 Shaw Boulevard; www.mobot.org) is one of the coolest places to be when the summer sun goes down, thanks to its multitudes of flora. Fortunately, the garden will be open late once again on select nights during Garden Party Lights, a massive installation of multimedia light projections designed by AVI Systems and Theatrical Concepts. Doors open at 6 p.m. Thursday through Sunday (July 6 to October 19), with the light show starting once it's dark. There will be food and beverage sales at both the covered Biergarten and the Cohen Cantina. Tickets are $10 to $20, and Thursdays and Sundays are family nights, with $3 tickets for kids younger than twelve. 314-577-9400

Saint Louis to St. Louis: The City on the River meets River City

Thu., Oct. 17, 5-8 p.m.

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@ Barrett Barrera Projects, 4739 McPherson Ave
Barrett Barrera Projects and Blackpuffin are pleased to present Saint Louis to St. Louis: The City on the River meets River City curated by Modou Dieng, a major exhibition of contemporary art from Saint Louis, Senegal in St. Louis, MO. and the first exhibition at Barrett Barrera Projects’ new state-of-the-art project space. A show celebrating sister cities across the great Atlantic Ocean and global artistic exchange of diaspora and hybridity. Please join us for the opening reception on October 17 from 5:00pm to 8:00pm at Barrett Barrera Projects, which will include a presentation by fashion designer Rama Diaw. 314-696-8678

Spirits of Sappington House

Fri., Oct. 18, 6:30-8:30 p.m. and Sat., Oct. 19, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

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The Sappington family in 1800s now Rest In Peace beneath their tombstones, yet in the dark of night they return to tell NEW tales from the beyond! Hear from costumed ghosts in Sappington House’s past during an illuminating museum tour. Experience Father Dickson Cemetery by lantern light. Gather around bonfires and enjoy cider, s’mores and an appearance by the macabre 18th century surgeon, Dr. John Murphy. He will demonstrate authentic colonial medical practices with his rusty hacksaws, bloodletting leeches, brews and potions. Pay at the door $7 for adults, $1 for children under 12. For more details, phone 314-822-8171. (314) 822-8171

Community Fun Day

Sat., Oct. 19, 11 a.m.-3 p.m.

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All ages are welcomed at this family friendly event. There will be performances, storytelling, puzzles, crafts, scavenger hunts, button-making, and much more! Free and open to the public. In conjunction with the exhibition Ai Weiwei: Bare Life. 314-935-5490

Lecture: Ai Weiwei: Between Mao and Warhol

Wed., Oct. 23, 6:30 p.m.

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In this lecture, John J. Curley, associate professor of modern and contemporary art at Wake Forest University, will discuss the hybridity of Ai Weiwei’s artistic practice. In many of his works, Ai emulates Western exemplars like Andy Warhol and Marcel Duchamp but infuses these models with techniques learned from communist propaganda during the Chinese Cultural Revolution. Ai’s practice thus transforms Duchamp’s and Warhol’s postures of critical ambiguity into clear political statements, allowing his works to be read as both works of contemporary art and social activism. Free and open to the public. 314-935-5490

Gallery Conversation: On Ai Weiwei and Architectural Design

Thu., Oct. 31, 5:30 p.m.

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Igor Marjanović, JoAnne Stolaroff Cotsen Professor and chair of undergraduate architecture in the Sam Fox School, and students from "Introduction to Design Processes I" will join Sabine Eckmann, William T. Kemper Director and Chief Curator, for a discussion of Ai Weiwei's art in relation to architectural context and human experience. Free and open to the public. In conjunction with the exhibition Ai Weiwei: Bare Life. 314-935-5490

Art on Campus Walking Tour

Fri., Nov. 1, 2 p.m.

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Put on your walking shoes for a tour of artworks installed throughout the Danforth Campus as part of the Art on Campus program, led by Leslie Markle, curator for public art. The 90-minute begins at the Kemper Art Museum and will include a stop at the new Florence Steinberg Weil Sculpture Garden to see the latest Art on Campus commission by Dan Graham. Wear comfortable shoes and be prepared for walking. Free and open to the public. 314-935-5490

Dia de los Muertos

Nov. 2-3, 11 a.m.-7 p.m.
Missouri History Museum 5700 Lindell Blvd., St. Louis St. Louis - Forest Park


Saturday & Sunday, November 2 & 3, celebrate the Day of the Dead at this family friendly two-day event featuring live music, dance performances, food and family altars built to honor ancestors in a variety of Latin American cultural traditions. The celebration also includes an art display, a photo booth, souvenir printmaking, and a procession through the park. The Teens Make History team will host a story sharing station where individuals can interview each other and record their personal stories. The Family Zone will offer face painting for kids, arts and crafts, film screenings & storytelling in Spanish. 314-746-4599

Art Inspiring Music: Challenging Perceptions: Harmonic and Social Dissonances

Thu., Nov. 7, 6 p.m.

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This season’s special exhibition Ai Weiwei: Bare Life serves as inspiration for this unique program featuring the violin/clarinet/percussion ensemble F-PLUS. With driving rhythms, moments of extreme dissonance, and complex, interweaving lines, F-PLUS will embark on a sonic journey evocative of Ai Weiwei’s artworks that challenge us to be aware of the world around us in times of political and social turmoil. The program will include works by Roger Zare, WashU composer Christopher Stark, and Howie Kenty. Free and open to the public. Cosponsored with the Department of Music in Arts & Sciences. 314-935-5490

Kids Corner

Sat., Nov. 9, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and Sat., Dec. 14, 10 a.m.-2 p.m.
Field House Museum 634 S. Broadway, St. Louis St. Louis - Downtown

Buy Tickets$5

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Join the Field House Museum for a day of family fun! There is something for everyone between the historic house, current exhibitions, and interactives. Each Kids Corner will feature new crafts and activities the whole family is sure to enjoy. For those who would like to tour the house with smaller children, we offer our “tour buddy” stuffed animals to keep little hands busy! For more information please visit our Facebook or Website. 314-421-4689

Gallery Conversation: On China's Past in the Present

Thu., Nov. 14, 5:30 p.m.

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In this gallery talk, Kristina Kleutghen, David W. Mesker Associate Professor of Art History and Archaeology in Arts & Sciences, and Sabine Eckmann, William T. Kemper Director and Chief Curator, will discuss Ai Weiwei's engagement with China's history, including his use of Chinese artifacts and traditional crafts at the same time the country undergoes a radical and ongoing transformation into a global present and future. Free and open to the public. In conjunction with the exhibition Ai Weiwei: Bare Life. 314-935-5490

Chinese Language Tour of Ai Weiwei: Bare Life

Fri., Nov. 15, 2 p.m. and Sun., Dec. 8, 2 p.m.

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Join WashU art history major Lingran Zhang (LA21) for a special tour of Ai Weiwei: Bare Life in Chinese. Free and open to the public. 314-935-5490

History Happy Hour

Thu., Nov. 21, 4-7 p.m.
Field House Museum 634 S. Broadway, St. Louis St. Louis - Downtown

Buy Tickets$10

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Explore the Field House Museum after hours during our bi-monthly History Happy Hour. Guests are invited to tour the historic house and check out current exhibitions in the museum while enjoying a complementary selection of drinks and hors d'oeuvres. Grab a friend or co-worker and come unwind while the rush hour traffic slows down. Drinks and hors d’oeuvres are often sponsored by local St. Louis Businesses. For current sponsors and additional information please visit our Facebook page or Website. 314-421-4689

Truths & Reckonings: The Art of Transformative Racial Justice

Mon., Dec. 2, 5:30 p.m.

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Geoff Ward, associate professor and associate chair in the Department of African & African-American Studies in Arts & Sciences, will discuss his Teaching Gallery exhibition, Truths and Reckonings: The Art of Transformative Racial Justice. Through a selection of artworks from the Museum's collection and objects from the Washington University Libraries, the exhibition considers how art and its presentation can bear witness to difficult truths–colonialism, enslavement, lynching–and the need to reckon with injustice and contribute to repair. Free and open to the public. 314-935-5490

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