Museum Exhibits and Events Events This Weekend in St. Louis

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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

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

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

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

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