Events in St. Louis - Downtown/ Midtown with Staff Pick

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Printing the Pastoral: Visions of the Countryside in 18th-Century Europe

Tuesdays-Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Dec. 1


The consumers of middle- and upper-class society in the eighteenth century developed a passion for rural scenes of traditional country life, just as the introduction of copperplate printing to the textile industry made it possible to produce fabrics with intricately detailed scenes printed upon them. Textile factories began churning out yards of fabric with shepherds, village fêtes and strolling couples for a market that could afford to buy them as furniture coverings, bedding and curtains. Printing the Pastoral: Visions of the Countryside in 18th-Century Europe, an exhibition at the Saint Louis Art Museum, includes numerous examples of the craft, several of which have never before been shown at the museum. The centerpiece of the exhibit is a reconstructed bed with printed bedding and curtains. Printing the Pastoral continues through December 1 in gallery 100 at the Saint Louis Art Museum (1 Fine Arts Drive; www.slam.org). Admission is free. 314-721-0072

Dutch Paintings in the Age of Rembrandt

Fridays, 10 a.m.-9 p.m. and Tuesdays-Thursdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Jan. 12


The Netherlands gained independence from Spain during the brutal and grueling 80 Years War, which was followed by the Dutch Golden Age. Its ports, wind power and sailing prowess kindled a financial engine that powered the new country into the forefront of banking and trade; and with that windfall of money came the rise of the Dutch school of portrait painters. Rembrandt van Rijn, Frans Hals and Aeltje Uylenburgh all created masterpieces in this period of prosperity. Dutch Paintings in the Age of Rembrandt, the new exhibition at the Saint Louis Art Museum (1 Fine Arts Drive; www.slam.org), showcases 70 paintings on loan from the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, that demonstrate the Dutch mastery of portraiture, landscape and genre painting (paintings depicting stories with a moral). The exhibit opens Sunday, October 20, and remains on display through January 12. Tickets are $6 to $15 (but free on Friday), and the museum is open every day except Monday and major holidays. 314-721-0072

The Shape Of Abstraction: Selections from the Ollie Collection

Tuesdays-Sundays. Continues through March 22


The Thelma and Bert Ollie Memorial Collection of abstract art officially went on display Tuesday, September 17, at the Saint Louis Art Museum (1 Fine Arts Drive; www.slam.org). The collection was gifted to the museum in 2017 by New Jersey-based art collector Ronald Maurice Ollie and his wife, Monique McRipley Ollie, in honor of Ronald's parents. The elder Ollies often visited the Saint Louis Art Museum with their children, instilling a lifelong passion for art. Ronald and Monique Ollie together collected art for many years, particularly work by contemporary black artists. Among the treasures in the exhibit, The Shape Of Abstraction: Selections from the Ollie Collection, are important works such as Robert Blackburn's lithograph Faux Pas, Mary Lovelace O'Neal's City Lights and Frank Bowling's Fishes, Wishes and Star Apple Blue, which demonstrates Bowling's innovative painting technique. In all, 40 works are displayed in the show, which draws its title from a poem by Quincy Troupe. The St. Louis native was inspired by the artworks in the Ollie Collection and wrote "The Shape of Abstraction; for Ron Ollie" in response. Troupe's poem is included in the exhibit catalog. 314-721-0072

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

Dear Evan Hansen

Sundays, 1 p.m., Saturdays, 2 & 7:30 p.m. and Tuesdays-Fridays, 7:30 p.m. Continues through Nov. 3
The Fox Theatre 527 N. Grand Blvd., St. Louis St. Louis - Grand Center

Buy Tickets$45-$105


Benj Pasek and Justin Paul's musical Dear Evan Hansen caused a national stir on Broadway, thanks to its ultra-contemporary plot. Evan Hansen is a high schooler with social anxiety being raised by his working mom, who's rarely at home. When a pep-talk letter he wrote to himself ends up in the pocket of a fellow student who commits suicide, Evan becomes involved with the grieving family. This gets him closer to Zoe, his longtime crush who's also the younger sister of the deceased. A white lie he tells to comfort the boy's parents spins out of control but also brings him closer to Zoe. Of course, Evan also is throwing out more lies all the time to keep his story afloat, and he's doomed to come back to the truth eventually. The Fox Theatre (527 North Grand Boulevard; www.fabulousfox.com) presents Dear Evan Hansen at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday, 2 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 1 p.m. Sunday (October 22 to November 3). Tickets are $45 to $150. 314-534-1111

Pete Souza

Wed., Oct. 23, 7 p.m.
Grandel Theatre 3610 Grandel Square, St. Louis St. Louis - Grand Center


Pete Souza has worked as a photojournalist, shot for National Geographic and Life, and has been the chief official White House photographer for former President Barack Obama, but he's currently most popular for his weapons-grade trolling of Donald Trump on his personal Instagram. Souza's mockery relies on his large stash of Obama photos, which he repurposes with cutting captions that underline the differences in governing style, humility and humanity between Obama and Trump. If you're wondering, Trump doesn't look very good in comparison. These photographic arguments formed the basis of Souza's book Shade: A Tale of Two Presidents. The paperback edition has 60 new pages of Souza's commentary on Michael Cohen, Brett Kavanaugh and the immigration crisis. At 7 p.m. Wednesday, October 23, Left Bank Books presents Pete Souza at the Grandel (3610 Grandel Square; www.left-bank.com) with the new edition of Shade. The event requires tickets ($22.13) and comes with a signed copy of the book. 314-533-0367

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

Stephanie Syjuco: Rogue States

Thursdays, Fridays, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. and Wednesdays, Saturdays, Sundays, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Continues through Dec. 29

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Artist Stephanie Syjuco was born in Manila and immigrated to the United States with her family when she was three years old, which gave her an American education and an immigrant's eye for our national blindspots. It's these blindspots that inform the art in her exhibition Stephanie Syjuco: Rogue States, which opens with a free reception at 7 p.m. Friday, September 6, at the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis (3750 Washington Boulevard; www.camstl.org). The title of the show comes from her installation of 22 flags that were used to represent the flags of made-up nations in various American films. Also in the exhibit is her large-scale installation Neutral Calibration Studies (Ornament + Crime), which comprises artifacts representing both colonizer and colonized societies. Cultural objects such as wicker chairs and traditional rugs Syjuco purchased online, cardboard cutouts of people and actual artifacts are mixed together in a larger-than-life diorama. Nestled in the background is a color photograph of the "stone-age" tribe of the Tasaday, found on a remote island in the Philippines in the early 1970s, who were actually modern people posed by a photographer. Rogue States continues through December 29, and the museum is open Wednesday through Sunday. 314-535-4660

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