Early in the history of landscape painting , both artists and
their patrons realized the expressive potential of artwork that depicted a
nation’s geography. Thus, landscape painting became a powerful tool employed to
represent the social and political aspirations of entire nations. In America,
the story of landscape painting encompasses a broad range of topics that
reflect every aspect of the country’s development.
Artists who lived and worked in St. Louis have explored the
landscape from a variety of viewpoints. Those who came to the city in the
mid-19th century found a ready market for their works among local collectors.
Landscape painters remained influential in the city’s and the
nation’s cultural development when they were among the founders of the Saint
Louis Artists’ Guild, the Taos School and the Society of Western Artists.
These artists and their role in depicting St. Louis’ local
and regional landscapes as well as those of the American West are explored in
the five thematic sections of this exhibition: Early Explorations investigates the artist as
presents the artists’ changing interpretations of the landscape; Rural Life reveals the beauty of the
countryside; Urban Views explores the artists’
fascination with the city; Landscape as History documents
landscape's ability to record the life of a nation and its people.