Early Explorations: the artist as explorer in the 19th century.
Karl Bodmer,  Remarkable Hills on the Upper Missouri (detail)
Landscape as History: artists record pivotal moments in American history.
Theodore Kauffman, Westward the Star of Empire
  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 explorer;
New Visions
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.

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New Visions:  artists explore expressive use of color and line as they depict the landscape.
Fred Conway, Elsah Bluffs
Rural Life: artists reveal the inherent beauty of the American countryside.
Joseph R. Meeker, View of the Meramec Near Glencoe
Urban Views: artists become fascinated with the drama and energy of the city as the new American landscape.
Gustav Goetsch, Breweries on the River
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