MARCH 2018
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Leaf from the Book of Judith from Biblia latina (Gutenberg Bible) 42 lines.
Mainz: Johann Gutenberg and Johann Fust, ca. 1455. 
Recently acquired through the generosity of an anonymous donor. 
From the Collections of the St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri– St. Louis.


Mercantile Library Acquisitions

The St. Louis Mercantile Library is pleased to announce the recent acquisition of two leaves from the Gutenberg Bible.  You can view them, along with Gutenberg leaves from other great rare book libraries in the St. Louis area, at a special reception on Friday April 27th from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  RSVP by phone to 314-516-7248 or email  We look forward to seeing you at the event. 

The Light That Makes the Heart Glad by Frederick Oakes Sylvester, 1913. 
This iconic work has been promised to the St. Louis Mercantile Library Art Museum by
a generous anonymous donor. 

Celebrating Our Future: Promised Gifts to the
Mercantile Library Art Museum

The Mercantile Library has a long history of collecting and preserving the art of Missouri artists, and the collection has grown significantly thanks to important donations from our members and supporters.  In recent years, we have worked with donors who want their treasured artwork to have a long-term home at the Mercantile Library Art Museum, but they are not yet ready to have it leave their home.  In these cases, we enter into a Promised Gift Agreement with the donor. This document binds the donor to an eventual donation of the artwork; this may be either during their lifetime or from their estate.  In this way, they can enjoy their artwork and still know they have made permanent arrangements for it when the time comes.|

One of our earliest and most notable Promised Gift arrangements is the Bruce & Barbara Feldacker Labor Art Collection.  A large number of important works by Missouri and regional artists has already come to the Library, and we are grateful to continue receiving periodic donations from the Feldackers.  Recently, another generous member made a significant promised gift of an important large painting by Frederick Oakes Sylvester.  To acknowledge our donors and recognize these promised gifts we are holding a special exhibition, Celebrating Our Future: Promised Gifts to the Mercantile Library Art Museum.  This focused exhibition will feature nineworks by prominent Missouri and Midwestern artists that will one day become part of the Mercantile Library Art Museum permanent collection.  Artists in the exhibition will include Frederick Oakes Sylvester, Oscar Berninghaus, Joseph Vorst, and Grant Wood. The exhibition will run from April 6 – May 18, 2018.

Please plan to join us at the exhibition opening on Friday, April 6 from 6 – 9 pm to meet our generous donors and enjoy these beautiful works of art.  We are pleased and honored to announce that our guest speaker for the event will be William H. Gerdts, renowned art historian and author of innumerable books on American Impressionism, American still-life painting, American neo-classical sculpture, and many more.  Most notably, he authored Art Across America: Two Centuries of Regional Painting, 1710-1920, a seminal three-volume study of regional art across the nation that will be the source for his comments during the event.  Watch your mail for the event invitation and plan to join us for a glimpse into the future of the Mercantile Library Art Museum.
Keynote Speaker James McGrath Morris, New York Times Bestselling Author, presents
"Two Crusading Pioneers of American Journalism: Joseph Pulitzer and Ethel Payne".

"From Franklin to Pulitzer:
Pioneer Newspapers and News Pioneers”

In conjunction with our current exhibition Headlines of History, on Saturday, February 17, the Library hosted seven prominent historians who spoke on various aspects of newspaper history for an enlightening and engaging symposium.  This daylong event began with a welcome by Chris Dames, Dean of Libraries at UMSL and opening remarks by Mr. Gilbert Bailon, Editor-in-Chief at the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.  The first session was entitled “Papers on the Frontier” and began with Mercantile Library Executive Director John Hoover speaking on St. Louis’s own Joseph Charless and his pivotal role in the city’s newspaper history.  The local theme continued with historian Dr. Anne Craver who shared her ongoing research on Louis Cortambert and the role of French newspapers in St. Louis.  The second session explored “Newspapers Coming of Age” with Vincent Golden, Curator of Newspapers and Periodicals at the American Antiquarian Society discussing the use of newspapers in the 1840s presidential elections and Steven Rowan, UMSL Founders Professor, presenting on Henry Bornstein and the St. Louis German Press.  The lunch break included a brief talk by Julie Dunn-Morton, Mercantile Library Endowed Curator of Fine Art Collections on the appearance of newspapers in early American art.  An extended afternoon session included three speakers on the theme of “Press Pioneers and Social Change”.  Guy Reel, Department Chair and Professor of Mass Communications at Winthrop University presented his paper “Societal Aspects of the Police Gazette” via Skype, followed by Priscilla Dowden-White, UMSL Associate Professor of History, discussing “African American Press of St. Louis and Social Change for a City.”  The third speaker was Hugh Reilly, Professor and Director of the School of Communication, University of Nebraska – Omaha, on the subject “Press During the Sioux Uprising of 1862.”  The symposium featured a fascinating keynote speaker, James McGrath Morris, a New York Times bestselling author whose talk explored the careers of Ethyl Payne and Joseph Pulitzer as pioneers of American journalism.  Closing remarks by Director John Hoover concluded this informative and enjoyable day.  For those unable to attend the symposium, watch your Library mailings for information about a publication of the symposium proceedings.  To enjoy more in-depth explorations of newspapers and their role in river and rail transportation and the arts, plan to attend our three upcoming Curator’s Colloquia: May 20, Nick Fry, Barriger Railroad Library; June 10, Porsche Schlapper, Pott Waterways Library; and July 29, Julie Dunn-Morton, Fine Art Collection. 

Support the St. Louis Mercantile Library
Please consider making a gift to support the St. Louis Mercantile Library.  Your gifts help us offer educational programs, maintain the Library's fabulous collections and aid in our staff's research, teaching, and curatorial services, as we all protect and preserve the great St. Louis cultural asset that is the Mercantile, now in its 171st year.  Thank you always for your support!
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The St. Louis Mercantile Library at the University of Missouri- St. Louis
1 University Blvd. 
St. Louis, MO 63121