St. Louis Mercantile Library Art Museum

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 complement the Library’s archival and manuscript holdings by providing visual documentation of the physical and cultural development of our city, state, and nation.
St. Louis Mercantile Library Art Museum
Angelo B. M. Corrubia Collection
Angelo B.M. Corrubia was born in Barile, Italy in 1881, is known for his landscapes and farm scenes, as well as masterful renderings of urban buildings in St. Louis, his home from the 1920s until his death in 1943. After studying architecture at Washington University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Corrubia designed many important St. Louis buildings including the Sacred Heart Convent and St. Ambrose Church, both located in the historic Italian neighborhood known as “The Hill”. Corrubia formed the Business Men’s Art Club in St. Louis in 1928 and painted in the area for the remainder of his life.
Edwin Fulwider and Kathryn Fulwider Collection
The Edwin Fulwider and Kathryn Fulwider artwork collection includes prints by these important American artists focusing primarily on subjects of river and rail transportation industries.
Gustav F. Goetsch and Hazel W. Goetsch Collection
The Gustav F. Goetsch and Hazel W. Goetsch Collection includes etchings, drawings, watercolors, and etching plates donated by their son along with archival materials related to their careers as artists. Gustav F. Goetsch was an artist and art educator in Minneapolis, Minnesota and St. Louis. Hazel Goetsch's career was primarily in St. Louis. Currently, the etchings have been digitized. The subjects include landscapes of St. Louis, Minneapolis, and surrounding regions, including scenes of Washington University in St. Louis.
M-264 Paintings Collection
The painting collection includes works ranging in date from 1800 to the present day. These works are primarily landscapes and portraits by Missouri artists.
M-265: Prints, Drawings, and Photographs Collection
The St. Louis Mercantile Art Museum holds an extensive collection of American historic and modern prints, fine art photographs, and drawings by Missouri artists.
M-289 James Godwin Scott Collection
This collection documents the career of James Godwin Scott (1931-2015), from the watercolors he produced in St. Louis of life along the Mississippi River - both urban and rural - and other scenes of the city's development, to the dramatic abstract acrylic paintings of his later career in Arizona. Accompanying the paintings are letters, clippings, sketchbooks and other paper ephemera related to the artist's career. A small selection of the paintings are digitized.
M-511 Leopold Gast & Brother Lithograph Company
These graphite drawings were the work of the Leopold Gast & Brother Lithograph Company, St. Louis, Missouri in the mid-19th century. Some drawings are signed by the artists that include John Gast (1842-1896), Leopold Gast (1810-1898), Paulus Roetter (1806-1894), and Theodore Anders, however most are unsigned. The company was founded in St. Louis in 1852 by brothers Leopold and August Gast (1819-1891). The pair and their families immigrated from Germany in 1848 and brought with them their lithographic press. They started a successful printing company, originally called Leopold Gast & Brother Lithograph Company, which Leopold ran from 1852 to 1866 when he sold his share to his brother August.
Plates from "The North American Sylva" by François André Michaux
Francois Andre Michaux (1770 - 1855) was a French botanist commissioned by the French government in the early 1800's to explore the forests of the United States, Canada, and Nova Scotia. By 1810 Michaux had completed the North American Sylva, which was published in Paris from 1810 to 1813 and translated into English five years later. The Sylva is illustrated with works by Pierre Joseph Redoute, Henri-Joseph Redoute, and Pancrace Bessa, masters of botanical art. This work is the first significant and most comprehensive description of North American forest trees. Multiple reprintings in Philadelphia and a later supplement by Thomas Nuttall (1786-1859), an English botanist and zoologixt working in North America expanded the reach and importance of this significant publication. The Mercantile's prints are thought to be from Nuttall's publications in the 1840s, 1850s, and 1860s.
The Bruce & Barbara Feldacker Labor Art Collection
Assembled by St. Louis labor lawyer Bruce Feldacker, the collection consists of over five hundred paintings, prints, drawings and sculpture on the theme of labor and the role of the laborer in America. While focusing on this subject as the primary guide for acquisition decisions, Bruce also gave weight to local and regional artists in selecting works. As a result, the collection has a remarkable breadth of style as well as a chronological depth, both of which contribute to its strength as a teaching tool in the areas of American art and American labor history. A significant number of works are on permanent display at all times, and tours are available upon request. The art collection is supported by an extensive reference library of scholarly publications on artists in the collection, labor art themes, and related exhibition catalogues. Books in the reference library are listed online and can be accessed through the Library’s reference room or by contacting the curator.

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