Spend a Rainy Afternoon in St. Louis Art Museum

St. Louis Art Museum

Throughout this past year, I promised myself that on a rainy day, I’d go spend quality time in one of the (free!) museums in Forest Park. Well, an opportunity presented itself a couple weeks ago, as if the weather knew I needed to cross this item off my St. Louis bucketlist. So, on a stormy, rainy afternoon, I spent a good 2 hours in the St. Louis Art Museum (SLAM) soaking in all the art on my own pace. If you’ve never visited a museum by yourself, you should try it – the experience was highly relaxing and sort of meditative…

First of all, I was impressed that our (I can still call it “our,” can I?) art museum held famous pieces by famous artists, such as this:

Bathers with a Turtle - Henri Matisse
Bathers with a Turtle” – Henri Matisse

I only know about this piece because I was required to take a history of art and music class in high school. In hindsight, I’m glad they made us do that because now I can sort of understand what I’m looking at in art museums!

French Japanese vase jar st. louis art museum
Left: French vase, Right: Japanese jar
Siva Nataraja in St. Louis Art Museum
Siva Nataraja (Siva, King of Dancers)

Horses in stables, a popular subject that continued into the Japanese Edo Period (1615-1868):

Horses in Stables: Spring in St. Louis Art Museum
Horses in Stables: Spring

I ventured up to the third floor for the first time to check out the Native American exhibit (highly recommended by a friend).

Woman's Beaded Flat Bag in St. Louis Art Museum
Woman’s Beaded Flat Bag

The handiwork on that bag was impeccable. Same could be said for these moccasins:

Mocassins St. Louis Art Museum

This following work of art was one of my favorites because of the reason she made it:

Wendy Red Star's Four Seasons
Wendy Red Star’s Four Seasons

“The Four Seasons series is a remark on everything being constructed and fake except me and my culture. This is the beauty of the series, the confusion of stereotypes, where the lines begin to blur from truth to reality. I just happen to fit into that slippery slope well.” – Wendy Red Star, April 5, 2014

Heh, I like her “bold antidote to the depiction of Native American culture in museums” by “forcefully” exposing and challenging “the historical treatment of Native people as objects of display in diorama-like, frozen spaces.” You go, girl.

In the end, I wandered back to the museum’s new wing that held contemporary art, the most intriguing exhibit to me. I briefly saw it while taking a running break (where I explore bits of Forest Park – see Running Off the Beaten Path) and wanted to take a closer, second look. Well, the same art stood out to me again:

"Keith" - Chuck Close
“Keith” – Chuck Close

I realized while writing this post that I’ve heard of Chuck Close before. After doing some digging, I found that I saw another one of his works at The Met! At least now I know I’m consistent with the art that I like.

I liked this next photo because of its “decisive moment,” as the father of photojournalism Henri Cartier-Bresson would say:

Opportune Moment

Am, and always will be, delighted by color:

Madinat as-Salam III - Frank Stella
“Madinat as-Salam III” – Frank Stella
Spectrum II - Elsworth Kelly
“Spectrum II” – Elsworth Kelly
Sightseeing - James Rosenquist
“Sightseeing” – James Rosenquist

I especially liked the description of Sightseeing:

“‘Sightseeing’ blurs the line between banal tourism and the supposedly elevated act of viewing art in a gallery or museum.”

Whoa. So meta.

I don’t think I’ve seen 3-D pop art before, so this was an interesting find:

Black and White Head - Roy Lichtenstein
“Black and White Head” – Roy Lichtenstein

Since SLAM is free, I didn’t think that it’d hold many important pieces by big-shot artists (like I’d expect The Met to). But that is a false misconception – SLAM is probably one of the best art museums I’ve been to. It’s nice and big (three floors), contains a ton of stuff, and the best part – isn’t overly crowded!! So if you’re in the area, I highly suggest that you take advantage of this great, free resource while you can!

Have you ever been to the St. Louis Art Museum? What were your favorite exhibits?

Thanks for reading!

P.S. Also in St. Louis: Kemper Art Museum (Vault Party)

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  • I love spending rainy days at museums. It’s hard to get me there when it’s nice outside but it’s the perfect place to walk around while it’s wet outside!

    • This was my first time spending a rainy day at the museum, and I think I’d do it again!

  • Glad you got to enjoy this before you left. Yes, it is pretty impressive, especially as it is free (aside from the special exhibits). I like how your photo of the woman turning her head also has a woman turning her head. Nice. I also like the new name of your blog.

    • Thank you! I took that photo on a whim (hoping she wouldn’t turn and see me pointing the camera at her). Glad I did it!

  • This reminds me I need to go to a museum soon, I´ve been lacking in my art game recently! I´m loving these pieces you´ve photographed and definitely agree, this is an awesome way to spend some rainy days — if not in bed!
    Loving the post chica
    have an awesome day, hopefully sunnier
    Dana
    x

    • Thank you! What museum are you wanting to go to?

  • that “decisive moment” photo is really good jessica! and oh i love museums with good lightings

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