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Events and Exhibitions

Corrubia Image

September 23, 2018 2:00 p.m.: Exhibition Opening

Join us on Sunday September 23, 2018 from 2-4pm as we celebrate the opening of the new exhibition Angelo Corrubia: Scenes of St. Louis, in the Meier Gallery at the St. Louis Mercantile Library.  This event is free and open to the public, but your RSVP is appreciated.  Light refreshments will be served.  For questions or more information, please contact Amanda Schneider by email at or by phone at 314-516-7248.


Headlines of History: Historic Newspapers of St. Louis and the World Through the Centuries at the St. Louis Mercantile Library Association 

On Level One through 2019

This is the third in a planned tetralogy of exhibitions building to the 175th anniversary of the St. Louis Mercantile Library, and marks the growth and special nature of the collections of the Mercantile by focusing on one of the most used and important holdings at this research center, its newspapers.  This important exhibition features such items as the first known issue of the Missouri Gazette, the oldest newspaper printed west of the Mississippi; and an issue of the Pennsylvania Ledger from July 13, 1776 marking the first printing of the Declaration of Independence in a newspaper.   Future programming will include a Family Day and Director’s and Curators’ Colloquia.


A Summer Sampling: 19 Recent Acquisitions

In Meier Gallery, Level Two Atrium, June 1 - August 31, 2018

The Mercantile Library Art Museum’s collection of works by Missouri artists continues to grow through donations and acquisitions.  This focused exhibition highlights selected paintings and sculpture not yet seen by our members or the general public.  An early and atypical portrait by Paul Harney (1850 - 1915) and two contemporary portraits by Roland Burrow (b. 1981) illustrate the range of St. Louis’ figural painting tradition. Landscapes by Frederick Oakes Sylvester (1869 - 1915), Oscar Berninghaus (1874 - 1952), Frank Nuderscher (1880 - 1959), and James Godwin Scott (1931 - 2015), reveal the enduring legacy of the landscape school that flourished in the region in the 1880s and whose influence can still be felt today.


From Caxton to Ellsemere: The Canterbury Tales in Print and Art at the Mercantile Library

Level Two Entrance, July 5 – October 29, 2018

This exhibition seeks to highlight two recent acquisitions in the context of a broad collection of textual and illustrated editions of the works of Geoffrey Chaucer from the fifteenth century to the present at the Mercantile Library.  We focused on The Canterbury Tales, the Prologue and the stories about them that have inspired generation of artists, and on the important Mercantile acquisitions of rare Caxton printing of the Tales and a nearly forgotten facsimile of the famous Ellesmere Manuscript of the Tales, created in meticulous detail and brilliant color over a century ago.

100 Million Buttons

100 Million Buttons Can't Be Wrong

In the Shopmaker American Political Collection Gallery 

The Shopmaker Political Collection contains over five thousand items used by candidates in the election process.  Although the collection includes some materials from state and local elections, the vast majority of the collection relates to presidential campaigns.  Similarly, while the collection include bumper stickers, posters, hats, cigars, paper dolls, coffee mugs, and so much more, by far the largest number of objects are buttons.  This exhibition draws its inspiration and its name from the button Wendell Wilkie made famous in his 1940 bid for president, “100 million buttons can’t be wrong” and explores the fascinating history of the ubiquitous campaign button.  This focused exhibition examines the range of sizes, the degree of seriousness, and the use of text and images that have been used over the years.    

Lincoln Exhibition

Lincoln: The Changing Face of an American President

In the Shopmaker Political Print Gallery

The changes in Lincoln’s appearance that were manifested over the period of his presidency reflect the rigors of the Civil War and the personal tragedies he suffered with the death of his son, Tad.  This exhibition traces these changes through a selection of images of Lincoln across several media, including prints, photographs, sculpture and textiles.  The portraits tell the story of Lincoln’s rise from young circuit lawyer to inspiring president to icon of American democracy.  


 Angelo Corrubia: Scenes of St. Louis

In Meier Gallery, Level Two Atrium, Opening September 2018