Art Along the Rivers

The Mississippi at Elsah, Fredrick Oakes Sylvester, 1903

Anne and I went to the art museum today, to view this fall’s big show, Art Along the Rivers: A Bicentennial Celebration. This year happens to be the bicentennial of the founding of state of Missouri. In honor of this event the art museum, exhibited a collection of the museum’s art that not only spanned the last two hundred years, but also the history of the area from before there was a state, going back a thousand years. Pictured is a painting that has become the signature artwork representing this show. It shows a stretch of the Mississippi River just north of Saint Louis, where on the Illinois side of the river lies the tiny village of Elsah. This quaint little town still looks remarkably similar to how it is portrayed in this painting from over a hundred years ago. It helps to convey the sense of timelessness of life along the rivers. The exhibit is arranged chronologically, beginning with Native American art. This transitions to colonial era artifacts, early statehood and beyond into the present. Emphasis is placed on sourcing local art to form a diverse reflection of all the people who have lived in the Saint Louis area throughout the last two hundred years.

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