Ars Artium Omnium - St. Louis Art Museum - St. Louis, Missouri
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member iconions
N 38° 38.374 W 090° 17.659
15S E 735493 N 4280253
Quick Description: This three-story Classic Revival building, constructed for the St. Louis 1904 World's Fair, is located at the top of Art Hill in Forest Park in St. Louis, Missouri. The Frieze is above the main entrance.
Location: Missouri, United States
Date Posted: 9/2/2018 5:36:59 PM
Waymark Code: WMZ2ZG
Published By: Groundspeak Premium Member bluesnote
Views: 4

Long Description:
Hermon A. MacNeil was an up-and-coming younger American sculptor at the time of the Louisiana Purchase Exposition in 1904. At the fair, his Fountain of Liberty and four other sculpture groups were placed along the Main Cascade. Three additional MacNeil works were much admired inside the Fines Arts Palace, now known as the Saint Louis Art Museum’s Sculpture Hall.

Ironically, the most inconspicuously placed of MacNeil’s sculptures for the fair has become his most enduring contribution to the Art Museum. Ars Artium Omnium, or The Art of All Arts, is a series of three panels above the doorways of the Museum’s north facade. Originally crafted in plaster, it was later carved in stone and given a gold mosaic background thanks to funds provided by the Louisiana Purchase Exposition Company of 1913.

Ars Artium Omnium draws from a familiar series of motifs based on ancient and Renaissance art. In MacNeil’s own words:

In regard to an interpretation of the bas-relief of the facade of the City Art Museum, the attempt was made to produce a figure of beauty, as the central figure in the milled panel – “an apotheosis” – if you will, enshrined. On either side of her (is) St. Louis – with the city seal – out of her abundance, paying homage to the beauty… On the right, you have allegorical figures representing Sculpture, Painting, Music, and the fourth figure introduced (that could) go by any name… On the opposite side are the figures of architecture and the allied arts; Ceramic and the kneeling figure typifying the discovery of the beauty oftentimes dug from the earth that has been produced in past ages. You will notice in the grouping (that) the two side panels lead toward the central figure.

- St. Louis Art Museum Webpage

Artist: MacNeil, Hermon A., 1866-1947, sculptor.

Title: Ars Artium Omnium, (sculpture).

Medium: Stone panels with gold mosaic background.

Dimensions: 3 panels.

Description: Allegorical representations of Beauty, Sculpture, Painting, Music, and the Seal of the City of St. Louis.

Subject: Allegory -- Arts & Sciences -- Painting
Allegory -- Arts & Sciences -- Sculpture
Allegory -- Arts & Sciences -- Music
Allegory -- Place -- St. Louis
Allegory -- Quality -- Beauty

Object Type:
Outdoor Sculpture -- Missouri -- St. Louis

Owner: St. Louis Art Museum, Forest Park, St. Louis, Missouri 63110

Accession Number: 158:13

Provenance: Purchased from MacNeil, Hermon Atkins, College Pt., New York
Gift of Louisiana Purchase Exposition Co., St. Louis, Missouri

Remarks: See IAS files for background and funding information.

References: Index of American Sculpture, University of Delaware, 1985.
National Park Service, American Monuments and Outdoor Sculpture Database, MO5047, 1989.
Monumental News, March 1905, pg. 191.
St. Louis Art Museum, 1969, 1989.

Note: The information provided about this artwork was compiled as part of the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Inventories of American Painting and Sculpture database, designed to provide descriptive and location information on artworks by American artists in public and private collections worldwide.

Repository: Inventories of American Painting and Sculpture, Smithsonian American Art Museum, P.O. Box 37012, MRC 970, Washington, D.C. 20013-7012

Control Number: IAS 76001064

- Smithsonian Outdoor Sculpture Website

Artist: MacNeil, Hermon A., 1866-1947, sculptor.

1 Fine Arts Drive
Saint Louis, Missouri 63110 ·

Web URL to relevant information: [Web Link]

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