The building that houses the Saint Louis University Museum of Art (SLUMA) dates to 1900, when it was built to house the St. Louis Club, one of the city’s most exclusive social clubs. After a fire in 1925, the club left the building, which changed hands numerous times before SLU purchased it for use as the home of the SLU Graduate School and School of Public Health. In 1992, the building was converted into a museum, now housing one of the best-known private collections in the city.
Fourteen paintings purchased at the 1904 World’s Fair became the seed of SLUMA’s permanent collection. That collection is wide-ranging, with particular concentrations in contemporary art, Asian decorative arts, and art of the Western Jesuit Missions of the 19th century.
In addition to the Lindell Blvd. location, two other locations house parts of the SLUMA collection. The Samuel Cupples House and Gallery contains fine and decorative art from before 1919, and a large collection of art nouveau and art deco glasswork. The Pere Marquette Gallery (housed in SLU’s DuBourg Hall) contains a selection of Old Master works salvaged by Jesuit missionaries during the Napoleonic Wars. Those works were the city’s first collection of art, and are augmented here by later acquisitions representing various forms of Christian imagery and iconography.
Saint Louis University Museum of Art Information
- Public Transportation: Fair (#70 bus to Lindell @ N Grand)
- Handicapped Accessibility: Good
- Hours: Wednesday-Sunday, 11 am-4 pm; Closed Monday-Tuesday.
- Admission: Free at all times.
- Tours: Self-guided tours available for groups of less than 20 guests. For larger groups, docent-led tours are available, and must be scheduled in advance.
- Membership: None available.