Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Cass Gilbert - St. Louis

The Saint Louis Art Museum is rated as one of the principal art museums in the United States and is visited by up to a half million persons every year. Admission is free.

Located in Forest Park in St. Louis Missouri, the museum was originally built as the Palace of the Fine Arts for the 1904 World's Fair, also known as the Louisiana Purchase Exposition. The Roman Baths inspired the design of architect Cass Gilbert (90 West Street NYC, Woolworth Building NYC, U. S. Supreme Court), Limestone and brick are the primary construction materials.

Saint Louis Art Museum Web Site

Apotheosis of St. Louis by Charles Niehaus, 1903.

This statue of King Louis IX of France, the namesake of St. Louis, Missouri, is located in front of the Saint Louis Art Museum. The image of this statue of the king on a horse was widely used as a graphical symbol of the City of St. Louis. It is sometimes still used as such, though the Gateway Arch has mostly assumed that role.

The original plaster model for this statue stood at the entrance to the 1904 Worlds Fair in Forest Park. After the fair the statue was cast in bronze by the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Company and presented to the city as part of the restoration of the park after the fair. The statue was cleaned in 1977 and restored in 1999. The inverted sword, held up as a cross, was replaced after being broken or stolen in 1970, 1972, 1977, and 1981.