St. Louis Mercantile Library


The Bruce and Barbara Feldacker Labor Art Collection
Bruce & Barbara Feldacker Labor Art Collection

Assembled by St. Louis labor lawyer Bruce Feldacker, the collection consists of approximately 250 paintings, prints, drawings and sculpture on the theme of labor and the role of the laborer in America. While focusing on this theme as the primary guide for acquisition decisions, Bruce also gave weight to local and regional artists in selecting works for the collection. As a result, the collection has a remarkable breadth of style as well as a chronological depth; both of which contribute to its strength as a teaching tool in the areas of American art and American labor history.

Artists in the collection with ties to St. Louis and the region include Thomas Hart Benton, Joe Jones, Wallace Bassford, Frank Brangwyn, Carol Carter, Paul Harney,
Ed Karasek, Larry Pogue, Kyra Markham, Jessie Beard Rickly and Joseph Vorst. Other nationally-known artists in the collection include Ben Shahn, Don Freeman, Hugo Gellert, Rockwell Kent, Otto Kuhler and Harry Sternberg.

In 2004 Bruce and Barbara Feldacker designated the collection as a promised gift to the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri - St. Louis. A portion of the works currently on display in the Mercantile Library constitute an initial installment of the gift. The Mercantile Library is pleased and honored to make the Feldacker Collection available to the public for research, study and enjoyment.

Exhibition Dates: Ongoing Exhibit