Art in Missouri

Explore the art of the Show-Me State in these books that showcase Missouri’s art and its artists.

Art in Missouri | Thomas Hart Benton | Other Missouri Artists

- Exhibit: Painting Missouri, January 24 – May 3, 2009
- Event: Illustrated talk about Painting Missouri exhibit, January 28, 2009
- Event: Presentation about Thomas Hart Benton, February 15, 2009
- Program: Reading Missouri: Adult Winter Reading Program, January 12 - March 14, 2009

Art in Missouri

Painting Missouri: The Counties en Plein Air
By Karen Glines; artwork by Billyo O'Donnell
Setting out to execute an outdoor painting on location--en plein air--for each of Missouri's 114 counties plus the city of St. Louis, this award-winning artist devoted years of travel and logged more than 150,000 miles to capture the many textures of a multifaceted state. Painting Missouri is an extraordinarily rich collection of scenes and seasons along the highways and byways of the Show-Me State.

An American Art Colony: The Art and Artists of Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, 1930-1940
By Scott Kerr & R.H. Dick
From the 1930s to the early 1940s, Ste. Genevieve, Missouri, was host to one of the most significant art colonies of its time. An American Art Colony is a historical and pictorial journey through the works of these magnificent painters. Their chosen subjects are not of the traditional bucolic landscape; instead they portray the human condition in terms both of political upheaval and of Depression-era events. Collectively, the authors present, through a series of biographical essays, an analysis of these painters' lives, their art, and the world in which they lived. The artists are Thomas Hart Benton, Sister Cassiana Marie, Fred E. Conway, Joseph James Jones, Miriam McKinnie, Joseph John Paul Meert, Bernard Peters, Jesse Beard Rickly, Aimee Goldstone Schweig, Martyl Schweig, E. Oscar Thalinger, Joseph Paul Vorst, and Matthew E. Ziegler.

CowParade Kansas City
By Thomas Craughwell
CowParade Kansas City is a companion book to the public art exhibit that took place in 2001 all over the city. As with every CowParade, the sculptures in CowParade Kansas City are totally original, created by local artists and sponsored by local businesses. Kansas City mounted a street- and plaza-side display of approximately 300 cows, every one of which is featured in full-color in the book and labeled with the artist, the sponsor, and the cow's location.

 Impressionist Masters from the Marion and Henry Bloch Collection book jacket

Manet to Matisse: Impressionist Masters from the Marion and Henry Bloch Collection
By Richard R. Brettell and Joachim Pissarro
Showcasing one of the nation's finest collections of American art now housed in the Bloch Building at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, this book features 267 exceptional paintings reproduced in full color and illuminated with never-before-published research findings.

One Square Mile: An Artist's Journal of America's Heartland
By Cathy Johnson
On a micro level, this book intensely communicates what makes one square mile of land so special and irreplaceable. Readers follows Johnson on walks around her cabin in Missouri, in the nearby woods, through a local meadow, and around the edge of a little pond to discover why and how one can fall in love with a place, how to get to know the land better, and why it should be treasured.

Point From Which Creation Begins: The Black Artists' Group of St. Louis
By Benjamin Looker
From 1968 to 1972, St. Louis was home to the Black Artists' Group (BAG), a seminal arts collective that nurtured African American experimentalists involved with theater, visual arts, dance, poetry, and jazz. Inspired by the reinvigorated black cultural nationalism of the 1960s, artistic collectives had sprung up around the country in a diffuse outgrowth known as the Black Arts Movement. This book narrates the group's development against the backdrop of St. Louis spaces and institutions, examines the work of its major artists, and follows its musicians to Paris and on to New York, where they played a dominant role in Lower Manhattan's 1970s "loft jazz" scene. By fusing social concern and artistic innovation, the group significantly reshaped the St. Louis and, by extension, the American arts landscape.

Thomas Hart Benton

Thomas Hart Benton and the Indiana Murals book jacket

Thomas Hart Benton and the Indiana Murals
By Kathleen A. Foster, Nanette Esseck Brewer, & Margaret Contompasis
Ringing the Indiana Hall at Chicago's Century of Progress Exposition in 1933 was a bold and colorful cycle of paintings by American muralist Thomas Hart Benton, depicting the history of the Hoosier state from the time of the Mound Builders to the age of basketball and the Indianapolis 500. In this dramatic 250-foot mural, which has been permanently displayed on the Bloomington campus of Indiana University since 1941, Benton created an art that spoke to average citizens in a realist style. This full-scale treatment of the history, method, and significance of this monument of American public art, Thomas Hart Benton and the Indiana Murals features a full-color gatefold showing the flow of the murals and a portfolio of color reproductions of the 22 extant panels with interpretive texts. Accompanying essays discuss the murals' history and their installation at Indiana University, the visual narrative that Benton invented, the artist's method as seen in a series of preparatory drawings, and a detailed account of their conservation.

Thomas Hart Benton: Drawing From Life
By Henry Adams
Written to accompany an exhibition at the Henry Art Gallery, this book examines Thomas Hart Benton’s drawings and their impact on his art and includes over 190 illustrations.

Thomas Hart Benton: An American Original
By Henry Adams
This book is a catalog of an exhibition organized by and held at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in 1989 and other museums.

Thomas Hart Benton and the American South
By J. Richard Gruber
Written to accompany a traveling exhibition, this book looks at Benton’s travel throughout the South and its influence on his work.

Other Missouri Artists

 Missouri's Famed Painter and Forgotten Politician book jacket

George Caleb Bingham: Missouri's Famed Painter and Forgotten Politician
By Paul C. Nagel
Besides assessing Bingham's artistic achievements as a genre painter, Nagel also portrays his service as a statesman and political leader in Missouri.

The Story of Rose O'Neill: An Autobiography
Edited by Miriam Formanek-Brunell
To most of us, Rose O'Neill is best known as the creator of the Kewpie doll, perhaps the most widely known character in American culture until Mickey Mouse. Prior to O'Neill's success as a doll designer, however, she already had earned a reputation as one of the best-known female commercial illustrators. While highly successful in the commercial world, Rose O'Neill was also known among intellectuals and artists for her contributions to the fine arts and humanities. In these memoirs, O'Neill reveals herself as a woman who preferred art, activism, and adventure to motherhood and marriage. Featuring photographs from the O'Neill family collection, The Story of Rose O'Neill fully reveals the ways in which she pushed at the boundaries of her generation's definitions of gender in an effort to create new liberating forms.

Donald Judd
Edited by Nicholas Serota
American minimalist sculptor Donald Judd was born in Excelsior Springs, MO. This well-illustrated book was published on the occasion of a retrospective exhibition held at the Tate Modern in London, England.

Vinnie Ream: An American Sculptor
By Edward S. Cooper
This is the remarkable story of a fascinating, talented, nineteenth-century American woman who was able, despite a lack of formal training, to build a successful, if controversial, career as a sculptor. When she was only seventeen years old, Vinnie Ream succeeded in prevailing upon her friends in Congress to convince President Lincoln to sit for her and, after his assassination, these friends managed to have a bill passed granting her a contract for the completion of a statue of the late president.

Some book descriptions provided by BookLetters.