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Art Exhibit 'Imagining the Founding of St. Louis' Opens At The Sheldon

To celebrate the 250th anniversary of St. Louis, the Sheldon Art Galleries has organized a major exhibition depicting the founding of the city and the people involved. Imagining the Founding of St. Louis includes paintings, drawings, prints and sculpture by a variety of noted artists.

Sheldon Art Galleries Director and co-curator of the exhibit Olivia Lahs-Gonzales commented, “Obviously this all happened before the advent of photography so there was no photographer on the boat with the explorers, so it’s really left up to artists to kind of imagine what it was like.”

The founding of St. Louis began with an expedition up the Mississippi by Pierre Laclede and Auguste Chouteau. The other co-curator of the exhibit, Daven Anderson, explained to Cityscape host Steve Potter that the  exhibit is organized in four sections reflecting the different aspects related to the expedition and founding of the city. “The exhibition was broken down to The Moment, meaning the moment, thy stepped, actually it was the second time they [Laclede and Chouteau] stepped on the bank on February 14, and The Routes that the travelers came by - all of the travelers from the time of DeSoto through the Jesuits [and] all the various directions that people used to arrive in St. Louis. The People that were involved, both the French and the native population, the Osage. Then the trade goods, The Trade, because that was really the reason that this all happened. Laclede and his company were given the right to trade for furs in the Missouri valley and that’s why this all happened.”

A companion book of essays by University of Missouri – St. Louis historian J. Frederick Fausz and others accompanies the exhibition.  Also, a resource room  provides other books and background materials.

Imagining the Founding of St. Louis will be on display through August 23rd in the Sheldon’s Bellwether Gallery of St. Louis Artists and the History of Jazz Gallery. It opens with a reception from 5:00 until 9:00 p.m. on February 7.  In addition, there will be an Osage blessing of the exhibit on Saturday, February 15 at 1:45 p.m.  On that day, the galleries will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.

Related Event

Sheldon Art Galleries Present "Imagining the Founding of St. Louis"
February 7 – August 23, 2014
Tuesdays, 12:00 – 8:00 p.m.
Wednesdays - Fridays, 12:00 – 5:00 p.m.
Saturdays, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Sheldon Art Galleries, 3648 Washington Blvd.

For more information, call 314-533-9900 or visit the Sheldon website.

Cityscape is produced by Mary Edwards and Alex Heuer, hosted bySteve Potter and funded in part by the the Arts and Education Council of Greater St. Louis, the Regional Arts Commission and the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency.

Mary Edwards is a producer for St. Louis Public Radio's broadcast program, "St. Louis Symphony."