The magnificent Saint Louis Art Museum saw its beginnings in 1881 as the Saint Louis School and Museum of Fine Arts. The “Apothesis of St. Louis,” a commissioned bronze reproduction of the statue of King Louis IX of France, city namesake, once placed at the entrance of the 1904 World’s Fair, where the History Museum stands, today, prances majestically in front of the Museum; “Apothesis,” the original symbol for the city, has served in the iconography of St. Louis for over a century, nudged into the figurative backseat by the Gateway Arch.
Budding art connouisseurs on Show Me State excursion will definitely want to peruse the SLAM’s expansive collection of more than 30,000 important works ranging the ages and divided into eleven areas: African, American, Ancient and Islamic, Asian, Contemporary, Decorative Arts and Design, European, Modern, Oceanic, Mesoamerican and American Indian and Prints, and Drawings and Photographs; its fantastic modern art collection includes works by the European masters Matisse, Gauguin, Monet, Picasso, and Van Gogh, and its collections of Oceanic and Mesoamerican works as well as handwoven Turkish rugs, are among the finest in the world. The Egyptian mummy Amen-Nestawy-Nakh and two others on loan from Washington University call the prominent US art museum home - be sure to pay them a visit – and an ever-changing series of exciting exhibits treat visitors to an engaging cross section of notable current and historic collections and events! Who would guess admission to this glorious principal U.S. art museum would be FREE?