Advertisement for MHM's "#1 in Civil Rights" exhibit
Past St. Louis Cardinals baseball players
Pageant and Masque crew and assorted costumed cast members with Art Hill in the distance, 1914.
8, March 2011

Napoleon's Posthumous Power

Although we sometimes add a local component to our exhibits, the Treasures of Napoleon touring exhibition fills its gallery completely. Visitors may be surprised to learn that we do have a number of Napoleon-related objects in our permanent collections at the Museum. These objects include coins, medals, and military items from soldiers who fought for and against the emperor. Of course, there are also some images of Napoleon that adorn objects from the St. Read more »

8, March 2011

Susan Blow: Bringing Public Kindergarten to the U.S.

The following is an excerpt from Movers and Shakers, Scalawags and Suffragettes: Tales from Bellefontaine Cemetery, by Carol Ferring Shepley. It has been edited for length. Read more »

24, February 2011

Profiles: Jessie Housley Holliman

If you have ever gazed in admiration at the 38-foot mural “The Origins of Freemasonry” that spans the lobby of the New Masonic Temple at 3681 Lindell Boulevard in St. Louis, you have seen one of the few true fresco works in Missouri. The enormous mural was created in 1941 by Jessie Housley Holliman (ca. 1905–1984) and was dedicated by then-Senator and Free Mason Harry S. Truman. It is the only surviving mural by Holliman in a St. Louis public building.

Holliman, an accomplished artist, muralist, and art teacher, graduated from Sumner High School in St. Read more »

17, February 2011

Clay Products and St. Louis Businesses

I’m Alex Choate, a graduate student in the Museum Studies program at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. As part of my studies, I volunteer at the Missouri History Museum, where I am completing a large research project on the Museum’s pottery and ceramic collection.

Ceramics proved to be an important product for local businesses in St. Louis and the surrounding area in the middle to late 19th century. Read more »

15, February 2011

The Splendid Heritage of Native American Languages

Editor’s Note: In December 2010, Sara Murphy, a graduate student in the University of British Columbia’s School of Library, Archival, and Information Studies, spent a two week practicum at the Missouri History Museum’s Library and Research Center. In conjunction with the Splendid Heritage exhibition, one of her practicum projects was to examine and reflect on the books in the MHM Library that are written in Native American languages.

In the back of a Cherokee-language New Testament from 1860, I found a newspaper article, sepia-toned and cracking. Read more »

11, February 2011

Profiles: William Wells Brown

Each week during Black History Month, we will feature stories of African Americans who made History Happen—through the legacy of slave narratives, art and music, or activism in the civil rights movement.


William Wells Brown

William Wells Brown was born into slavery in Lexington, Kentucky, in 1814. Read more »

11, February 2011

Osage Leaders Bless Artifacts in Splendid Heritage Exhibition

The exhibition Splendid Heritage: Perspectives on American Indian Art opens on Saturday, February 12, 2011, at the Missouri History Museum. On February 10 a blessing ceremony was conducted, partly in Osage, by leaders of the Osage Nation. Eddy Red Eagle and Vann Bighorse came up from Oklahoma to celebrate the works on display. The Osage conduct ceremonies for many of life’s events, happy or sad. The traditions are learned from elders, never written but captured in the hearts of the Indians.

Dr. Robert R. Read more »

2, February 2011

Hidden Spoons Stir Up a Mystery

One of our most recent donations combines a mysterious find with modern technology to fill a gap in our collections! The story begins in New York State, when the donor was cleaning an air duct in her house after a renovation project generated lots of dust. Much to her surprise, she found that someone had hidden some silver spoons in the ductwork. Perhaps this was done during the 1980s when silver briefly became more valuable than usual because of the Hunt brothers’ attempt to corner the silver market. Read more »

25, January 2011

MVVA to Update Public on Arch Grounds Redesign and Announce Traveling Exhibit

Last September, New York-based Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA) was chosen to plan the redesign of the Arch grounds. The MVVA team spent three months partnering with sponsors, the City of Louis, and the National Park Service to develop the design, a budget, and a fund-raising plan.

On January 26, lead designer Michael Van Valkenburgh will update the community on the design concept and discuss next steps for invigorating the Arch grounds and making connections to downtown St. Louis, the Mississippi River, and the Illinois riverbank. The presentation will run from 6 p.m. Read more »