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paintings by German artist Max Beckmann
The Saint Louis Art Museum is presenting a new view of its extensive collection in 18 reimagined galleries, including the largest collection of paintings by German artist Max Beckmann, featuring the "Acrobats" (Triptych), "Scene from Destruction of Messina" and "The Sinking of the Titanic," located in Grigg Gallery 216.

European Galleries at Saint Louis Art Museum
The reinstallation of Romanticism in Gallery 205 focuses on this major artistic movement, which flourished in the early part of the 19th century.
Saint Louis Art Museum Presents a New View of 18 Galleries
by Betty Moore,
ST. LOUIS, MO, (, February 5, 2012 - Visitors to the Saint Louis Art Museum can enjoy the debut of 18 reconceived galleries in its original Cass Gilbert building. The initial phase in a series of reinstallations will culminate in the public opening of its new East Building, designed by British architect Sir David Chipperfield, in mid-2013.

While the construction of the Museum's new building continues, the additional gallery space it will provide has already given curators the opportunity to rethink the way the Museum's world-class collections, comprising over 33,000 works of art, are installed.

A new view of the galleries features freshly painted walls, 275 + works of art installed in 2011 with more that 45 works that have never been on view or have not been seen in over a decade. Highlight of the new installation is the largest collection of paintings by Beckmann in the world, including "Acrobats" (Triptych), "Scene from Destruction of Messina" and "The Sinking of the Titanic," in Grigg Gallery 216.

In Gallery 205, the reinstallation of Romanticism features richly colorful works from England, France, and Germany, all set against a deep russet red wall. The collection includes paintings by Schreyer, Delacroix, Doré and sculpture by Antoine-Louis Barye.

Gallery 217 features Impressionist Portraiture and offers a wide range of work by Renoir, Degas, Manet, and Fantin-Latour. Impressionist Landscape, in Gallery 218, includes a variety of paintings by Monet, Pissarro, Sisley, van Gogh, and Gauguin. The walls of these two galleries are painted a deep gray, providing a dramatic backdrop for the elaborate frames of the collection.

The reinstallation, curated by Simon Kelly, curator of modern and contemporary art, provided an opportunity for the Museum to showcase 12 recent acquisitions. When the construction of the East Building is complete later in 2012, the Museum's collections of antiquities and art after 1950 will be relocated to the new galleries.

Museum Director Brent R. Benjamin, stated "The Museum's expansion project is nothing less than transformational. Every area of our collection is benefitting from additional gallery space."

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Crusader King Louis IX, Saint Louis, Missouri
Crusader King Louis IX in front of the Saint Louis Art Museum
The Saint Louis Art Museum is one of the leading art museums with more than 100 galleries. The building was designed by famed architect Cass Gilbert as the Palace of Fine Arts for the 1904 World's Fair in Forest Park. Standing atop Art Hill, it is the "crown" jewel" of the 1,370-acre park. The Grand Basin is the lake at the foot of Art Hill and served as the focal point of the 1904 World's Fair.

The Museum's collections feature more than 30,000 art treasures from ancient times to the present. Highlights include art of the Renaissance, masterpieces of Impressionism, American European Art, Asian art, Period Rooms, the Egyptian mummy, and world-renowned collections of pre-Columbian and German Expressionist art.

The Museum provided $10 million for improvements to Art Hill and nearby areas including: reconstruction of Fine Arts Drive in the front of the Museum between the front stairway and the statue of St. Louis; the street and the area around the landmark statue is now paved with granite; construction of two curved, tree-lined walkways, or promenades, extending about 250 yards in each direction from the statue of St. Louis to the existing circular parking areas; construction of scenic overlooks near the expanded circular parking areas; landscaping of the two promenades and of the entire area with ornamental trees and decorative lighting; and new parking adjacent to the scenic overlooks.

Hours: Tuesday-Sunday, 10:00 am-5:00 pm; Friday, 10:00 am-9:00 pm; Closed Monday. For more information, call 314-721-0072. Admission to the Saint Louis Art Museum is free. Admission to featured exhibitions is free on Friday.

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