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Events and Exhibitions

At Home at the Newspaper

"At Work at the Newspaper"
Friday October 19, 2018 10:00 a.m-12:00 p.m.

Join us for "At Work at the Newspaper: The Unique Nature of Collective Bargaining in the Newspaper Industry" at the St. Louis Mercantile Library, in conjunction with the "Headlines of History" exhibition. This program will feature guest speakers Ed Finkelstein, Publisher of the St. Louis Labor Tribune, Tim O'Neil, Retired St. Louis Post-Dispatch Reporter, John Ebeling, Past President of the St. Louis Typographical Union Local 8, and Joe Holleman, Reporter and Columnist for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. Light refreshments will be served. Tickets are $10 for members or $12.50 for non-members. RSVP: Email or call 314-516-7248.

Pumpkin Drawing

"The Book as Art" Fall Bixby Event
Sunday October 21, 2:00 p.m.- 4:00 p.m.

Join us at the Mercantile Library on Sunday October 21st from 2-4pm, for a special Presentation by Book Artists Peter and Donna Thomas, "The Book as Art: Making Physical Books by Hand in the Digital Age," presented by the Bixby Book Club. Fall refreshments will be served. Tickets are $15 each. Call 314-516-7248 or email for tickets or more information.

Audubon Grackle

21st Annual James E. Yeatman Lecture
Friday November 2nd, 11:30 a.m.-1:30 p.m.

Join us for the 21st Annual James E. Yeatman Lecture on the 16th floor of the St. Louis Club on Friday November 2, 2018 from 11:30am-1:30pm. John Hoover, Executive Director of the St. Louis Mercantile Library, will present "Audubon's Scottish Connection: The Life and Work of William Lizars of Edinburgh." Tickets are $50 for members and $55 for non-members, and include lunch: leek and potato soup, mixed field greens with sherry vinaigrette, ratatouille, roasted potatoes, and chicken saute "chasseur". RSVP to 314-516-7248 or email


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.

permanent collection

Selections from the St. Louis Mercantile Library Art Museum

On Level One

The Mercantile Library has collected and exhibited art since its founding in 1846, making its art collection a key element in its cultural and educational mission. In the fall of 2011, the St. Louis Mercantile Library Art Museum was officially established with an advisory board and the mission to tell the story of Missouri and the nation’s heartland region by collecting, exhibiting and providing a venue for Missouri art and artists and encouraging partnerships between scholars, artists, collectors, and the region’s cultural community.  This exhibition of the Library’s permanent collection celebrates the Library’s ongoing commitment to Missouri art through works from the 18th through the 21st centuries presented in five thematic sections.   


 Angelo Corrubia: Scenes of St. Louis

In Meier Gallery, Level Two Atrium Through November 9, 2018

Born in Barile, Potenza Province, Italy in 1881, artist Angelo B.M. Corrubia is known for his landscapes and farm scenes, as well as masterful renderings of urban buildings in St. Louis, his home from the 1920s-1940s.  After studying architecture at Washington University, he designed many important St. Louis buildings including the Sacred Heart Convent and Saint Ambrose Church.  The St. Louis Mercantile Library wishes to gratefully acknowledge Thom Pegg for the generous donation of selected works by this noted St. Louis artist.


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.  

nast image

Seeing Santa Claus: Thomas Nast's Images of Christmas

In Meier Gallery, Level Two Atrium
November 30, 2018-January 20, 2019