The St. Louis Mercantile Library Association has, from the time of its founding in 1846, exhibited and collected fine art, amassing a collection that complements its research holdings while also reflecting the tastes, interests, and cultural aspirations of its constituency. As such, the collection is particularly strong in artists who lived and worked in the city of St. Louis and the state of Missouri and who created works inspired by literary, political, and historical subjects.
Numerous donations of sculpture have helped form a nucleus of works that brings to life the association’s literary collections, while the predominance of landscape paintings is a natural outgrowth of St. Louis’s nineteenth-century landscape movement that was tied to national and international art styles. Appropriately, the collection also features portraits of political, literary, and social leaders created in various media by some of the leading artists of their day.
This fully illustrated handbook presents highlights of the paintings, sculpture, prints, drawings, and folk and decorative arts that make up the Mercantile Library Association’s permanent collection and that reflect the institution’s past 160 years of cultural activity as well as its ongoing role as a museum for art of the American Midwest.