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ABOUT THE COLLECTION


The Saint Louis Art Museum has an encyclopedic collection of more than 33,000 works. Over 2,900 highlights of the collection are searchable online. This information changes weekly as objects are added, updated, and enhanced with current research.

African American Art

Collection Information
The Museum holds a wide range of works by African American artists including decorative arts objects, nineteenth-century paintings and sculpture, American Scene subjects, and masterworks by modern and contemporary artists.
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African Art

Collection Information
The African collection focuses on art from sub-Saharan West Africa and has particular strengths in figurative works from Yoruba, Benin, and Mende people, and in African textiles. Masks and figural sculpture, furniture, and regalia highlight the diversity of artistic expression on the continent.
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American Art

Collection Information
The American art collection features masterworks of paintings and sculpture from Colonial portraiture through the modernist and abstract art of the first half of the 20th century. The highlights of this collection include fine Hudson River School landscapes as well as the Election Series of Missouri artist George Caleb Bingham.
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Ancient American Art

Collection Information
Ancient American Art collection contains works in stone, wood, ceramic, gold, silver, and other materials, representing ancient cultures of the Americas and Caribbean. Areas of particular depth include the earliest cultures of Central Mexico and their Teotihuacan and Aztec successors; the Zapotec of Oaxaca; and examples of Maya art showcasing the ballgame and hieroglyphic writing.
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Ancient Art

Collection Information
The Ancient Art collection spans nearly 4000 years of history, from 3000 BC to the 5th century AD, and includes a fine array of objects from Egypt, the Near East, Greece, and Italy. The collection is composed of more than 1000 works of sculpture, ceramics, jewelry, and textiles.
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Asian Art

Collection Information
The Museum's Asian collection comprises fine works from East, Central, Southeast, and South Asia with strengths in ancient and later Chinese bronzes, Buddhist sculpture, calligraphy and painting, ceramics, and decorative arts. In addition, the Museum has an excellent representation of Japanese lacquer, calligraphy, painting, folding screens, and South Asian sculptures.
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Contemporary Art

Collection Information
The Contemporary collection spans the post-war period to today. Particular strengths are in American painting and sculpture from Abstract Expressionism through Minimalism. The collection houses signature works by Joseph Beuys, Sigmar Polke, Anselm Kiefer, and Gerhard Richter. Acquisitions of art made in the past two decades include video, mixed media, and installation.
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Decorative Arts and Design

Collection Information
The Decorative Arts and Design collection comprises European and American furniture, ceramics, glass, metalwork, textiles, arms and armor, architectural elements, and period rooms from the Renaissance to the present day. Collection strengths include 18th century European ceramics and silver, 19th century American decorative arts, and modern and contemporary design.
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European Art to 1800

Collection Information
European Art to 1800 includes examples made across Europe and the British Isles. Early highlights include a French St. Christopher, a head of St. Roch, and a German gilded Christ. Later highlights include a late Titian, a marble Pan from Michelangelo's workshop, and a painting on copper by Artemisia Gentileschi.
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Islamic Art

Collection Information
The Museum's collection of Islamic art is represented by a selective group of ceramics, metalwork, glass, manuscripts, and textiles from Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Egypt, Syria, Spain, Italy, Turkey, the Caucasus, Afghanistan, India, and Pakistan. Highlights include Iznik ceramics and tiles, Mughal and Persian manuscripts, and the Ballard Collection of rugs.
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Modern Art

Collection Information
The Museum's collection of Modern art is one of the largest and most distinguished components of its holdings, spanning 150 years of European painting and sculpture (1800–1950). Highlights include French Impressionist and Post-Impressionist masterworks, German Expressionist masterpieces, and the largest public collection of paintings in the world by Max Beckmann.
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Native American Art

Collection Information
The Native American Art collection contains primarily 19th and 20th century works. The Donald Danforth Jr. Collection, with an emphasis on Plains beadwork, is at the heart of the collection. Other masterpieces are Northwest Coast art in wood and copper, pottery and weavings from Pueblo peoples, and basketry from the California region.
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Oceanic Art

Collection Information
The Oceanic collection focuses on art produced by people living in the Pacific Islands including strengths in three dimensional works from Melanesia and Polynesia. These objects include masks, figures, and bowls and other utilitarian items. Morton D. May's gift of 530 works of Oceanic art is the foundation of this collection.
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Photographs

Collection Information
The photography collection consists of 3000 works, spanning the history of the medium from 1844 until the present. There are strengths in 20th-century American and German, and large individual holdings of prints by Edward Curtis, Paul Strand, Andreas Feininger, and Moneta Sleet Jr.

Works on paper are exhibited on a rotating basis and can also be viewed by appointment in the Study Room for Prints, Drawings, and Photographs.
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Prints and Drawings

Collection Information
The collection of prints and drawings spans the history of European and American works of art on paper from the 14th century to the present and covers a wide variety of media. Highlights include significant holdings by Albrecht Dürer, Rembrandt van Rijn, George Caleb Bingham, and Max Beckmann.

Works on paper are exhibited on a rotating basis and can also be viewed by appointment in the Study Room for Prints, Drawings, and Photographs.
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