St. Louis Mercantile Library

St. Louis Mercantile Library Art Museum


Beatrice Cenci by Harriet Hosmer

The St. Louis Mercantile Library has, since its founding, considered art as essential to accomplishing its educational and cultural mission. Inspired by its first exhibited work of art – a painting lent by Charles Deas – the Library has developed a significant permanent collection of paintings, prints, drawings, sculpture, decorative arts and folk art. These works relate to and compliment the Library’s archival and manuscript holdings by providing visual documentation of the physical and cultural development of our city, state, and nation.

As evidenced by its fine art collection, the Mercantile Library continues to collect, preserve and exhibit the work of artists who have made Missouri their home, from the early artist-explorers for whom St. Louis was a hub for access to the unexplored West to today’s artists who continue to capture the life and beauty of the American Midwest.