At A Glance
Location: 1 Fine Arts Drive, St. Louis, MO, 63110
Hours: Closed on Mondays and opens at 10 AM daily
Price: Free with a $15 parking fee
The Saint Louis Art Museum has a mission to conserve, collect, present, and interpret works of art from the highest qualities across culture and time. They work to educate, elevate the human spirit, inspire discovery, and preserve the legacy of artistic works for the people of the world and St. Louis.
The Saint Louis School and Museum of Fine Arts was founded in 1879 and was an independent entity related to Washington University. At this time, it was housed in a building owned by Wayman Crow and dedicated in memory of Wayman Crow Jr, his son. After the close of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904, the school and museum moved from downtown St. Louis to one of few permanent fair remnants, the Palace of Fine Arts.
Today, the Saint Louis Art Museum remains one of America’s principal art museums. The collection at this museum includes sculptures, ancient masterpieces, paintings, and cultural objects from every corner of the earth. The three-story building calls Forest Park home and is visited by over 500,000 people each year.
What to Expect at the Saint Louis Art Museum
As we mentioned, the Saint Louis Art Museum is home to many priceless works of art and other cultural and ancient items. In addition to many featured exhibits, they also offer rotating installations and exhibits.
The great thing about the St. Louis Art Museum is that you can spend as much or as little time as you want to wander through the exhibits. The collection contains over 34,000 pieces that date from antiquity to the present. The collection’s divided into nine categories which include:
- Ancient and Egyptian
- Africa, Oceania, Americas
- European to 1800
- Decorative arts and design
- Prints, Drawings, and Photographs
- Modern and Contemporary
In these collections, you’ll find works of art from artists such as Monet, Van Gogh, Matisse, Picasso, and Gauguin. You’ll also find collections or individual pieces from Max Beckmann, Chuck Close, Turkish Rugs, mummies, and so much more.
Yes! The Saint Louis Art Museum still offers free admission. The only exception is if you drive there and need to park, it will cost $15. The parking fee helps maintain the art museum and ensure that it remains free for everyone.
Exhibits at the St. Louis Art Museum are constantly changing, so it’s best to check their website. However, currently, you can expect to find Impressionism and Beyond, Currents 121: Oscar Murillo, and Liliana Porter: Fox in the Mirror. Permanent exhibits include paintings by Picasso, Monet, Van Gogh, and Matisse, and other artifacts such as Egyptian mummies and Turkish Rugs.
The Saint Louis Art Museum opened to the public in 1904 and has grown into one of the most comprehensive art collections in the country.