Summer Fun Guide: 10 Things to See at the Expanded St. Louis Art Museum

By Wilson, Calvin | St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO), May 19, 2013 | Go to article overview

Summer Fun Guide: 10 Things to See at the Expanded St. Louis Art Museum


Wilson, Calvin, St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)


In these increasingly hectic times, making a priority of gazing at art can be a challenge. But the more relaxed pace of summer allows for more visits than usual to museums and galleries.

And fortunately, the St. Louis area offers plenty of venues capable of delighting the eyes.

One of the biggest events this summer is sure to be the opening of the new east wing of the St. Louis Art Museum, which has received national attention. There'll be much to experience, not only in the added space, but also in the reconfigured museum as a whole.

Here are 10 things to look out for:

1. Before you even get to the art, you can glory in the award- winning, environmental sustainability of the east wing, which was designed by British architect David Chipperfield and in which artworks will be illuminated by natural light. Appropriately, the building has a green roof.

2. German art superstars will be the focus of the new wing's debut exhibition, "Postwar German Art in the Collection," opening June 29. Among those represented are Gerhard Richter, Sigmar Polke and Anselm Kiefer.

3. Also opening at the museum on that day will be "A New View: Contemporary Art," which will focus on American artists from Jackson Pollock, Mark Rothko and Frank Stella to Kiki Smith, Kerry James Marshall and Leonardo Drew.

4. The 200,000-square foot expansion will offer a total of 21 new galleries, featuring about 250 works from the 20th and 21st centuries.

5. And not all of the artistry in the East Building will be at ground level: The intricate, concrete-coffered ceilings are worth a look, as well.

6. More than 275 works were part of the revamping of the main building in 2011, including 45 that had never been on view, or had not been on view for more than a decade. In addition, the reconceived galleries feature 29 recent acquisitions.

7. If you're into 18th century European art, you just got lucky. The museum now devotes three galleries to it.

8. And two galleries are now dedicated to Native American art.

9. But what about souvenirs? And what if you're a foodie? The gift shop has been remodeled in its original location, and a new restaurant (on Level 2) and new caf (Level 1) open June 29. And a new parking garage will add about 300 spaces.

10. Taking advantage of the museum's location in Forest Park, a new outdoor concert series starting June 29 will explore different styles of music. The first will be presented by Jazz St. Louis.

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Where St. …

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