The original Beaux Arts museum building is a remnant of the 1904 St. Louis World's Fair, and it's now an iconic symbol of the city. Over the years the museum's added to its collection, and there wasn't enough room in the building to show all of the pieces. The new expansion has 21 galleries that display more than 200 works of art, many of which come from the museum's collection of contemporary works.
The museum is located at the top of a large hill in Forest Park. There were a lot of people in the park; we had to park at the bottom of the hill and walk up. I was hot and sweaty by time we reached the building, so we entered through the closest entrance into the Main building and had a guard point us in the right direction. The two sections are separated by large glass doors. I passed through, and everything felt different.
The original building has beautiful mill work and dark wood floors. Some of the gallery walls are painted in deep colors. The new section was brighter and more modern. There was natural light coming from skylights (covered by light diffusers) in the coffered concrete ceiling, light-toned wood floors, and white walls. Several galleries also had floor-to-ceiling windows which made them look particularly airy. Tony and I spent a couple of hours wandering from gallery to gallery, then decided to call it a day.
Before we left, though, there was one more exhibit we wanted to see. I enjoy looking at art, but I can't say I know many of the artist's names. Right outside the south door of the main building was an exhibition from someone I HAD heard of--the Wish Tree project of Yoko Ono!
Yoko began her project in 1996 in memory of John Lennon. The participatory exhibit asks visitors to write a wish on a piece of paper, then attach it to a branch of a Wish Tree. In the last 17 years more than a million wishes have been collected!
The St. Louis installation of the exhibit ends on September 2nd, so we were just in time. Both Tony and I grabbed a white tag and wrote our wishes, then added them to one of the three potted trees arranged in a row.
I wonder if my wish will come true?
Five years ago today: New Thing #235--Move It