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St. Louis Art Museum Highlights Local And National Connections In 2015

George Caleb Bingham, Jolly Flatboatmen in Port, St. Louis Public Radio
Provided by the St. Louis Art Museum

At a press briefing this morning, Director Brent Benjamin stressed the museum’s dedication to providing exhibits that highlight St. Louis’ influence on national and international arts. The shows for 2015 draw from Missouri-based collectors, artists and designers.

• The year begins with a three-show package that highlights art focused on the Mississippi and Hudson rivers. The exhibit Scenic Wonder: An Early American Journey Down the Hudson River began last fall, and set the scene for the influential American painting group the Hudson River School in the mid-19th century.

• Scenic Wonder overlaps with Thomas Cole’s Voyage of Life, which collects the painter’s allegorical series depicting the various stages of life. Cole was one of the most significant and far-reaching Hudson River School painters. Each painting in the series is more than six feet long.

• St. Louis artist George Caleb Bingham’s work is set in contrast with these two exhibits starting in late February. The exhibit Navigating the West: George Caleb Bingham and the River will display 17 images from the artist documenting life on the Mississippi. These images have not been displayed together since 1990 according to Benjamin.

• The museum’s summer season presents the largest privately owned collection of famed Flemish innovator Hieronymus Bosch. These surreal prints are curated from an anonymous local collector and will include text presentations provided by Washington University students.

• The following show, Senufo: Art and Identity in West Africa, will be the museum’s first exhibit of classical African art in 15 years. The exhibit was organized by the Cleveland Museum of Art and incorporates pieces from the St. Louis Art Museum’s collection. This show will be augmented by a display of West African textiles as well.

• The year’s final show will be St. Louis Modern, an exploration of local artisans influence on mid-century home decorations and furniture. The collection will trace the shifting modes of production from handmade goods to machine age reproductions. It will be the first major exhibition of its kind.

Scenic Wonder: An Early American Journey Down the Hudson River is currently on display.