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Events and Exhibitions

At Home at the Newspaper

Coffee in the Gallery "Seeing Santa Claus: Thomas Nast's Images of Christmas"
Friday November 30, 2018 10:00 a.m-12:00 p.m.

Kick off this holiday season with a viewing of Christmas images by caricaturist and editorial cartoonist Thomas Nast in the new exhibition "Seeing Santa Claus" at the St. Louis Mercantile Library. Celebrate the opening of this fantastic holiday display by joining us for a "Coffee in the Gallery" on Friday November 30th, featuring comments by Mercantile Library Executive Director John Hoover. This event is free and open to the public; email to register.

Pumpkin Drawing

2018 All Boards Meeting and Volunteer Recognition Breakfast
Friday December 7, 2018  9:00 a.m.- 11:00 a.m.

Our board members and staff will gather to provide brief presentations on recent acquisitions and current projects, and recognize the hard work and dedication of our generous docents and volunteers.  Invitations will be mailed out in November; email to register. 


Headlines of History: Historic Newspapers of St. Louis and the World Through the Centuries at the St. Louis Mercantile Library Association 

On Level One through 2019

This is the third in a planned tetralogy of exhibitions building to the 175th anniversary of the St. Louis Mercantile Library, and marks the growth and special nature of the collections of the Mercantile by focusing on one of the most used and important holdings at this research center, its newspapers.  This important exhibition features such items as the first known issue of the Missouri Gazette, the oldest newspaper printed west of the Mississippi; and an issue of the Pennsylvania Ledger from July 13, 1776 marking the first printing of the Declaration of Independence in a newspaper.   Future programming will include a Family Day and Director’s and Curators’ Colloquia.

permanent collection

Selections from the St. Louis Mercantile Library Art Museum

On Level One

The Mercantile Library has collected and exhibited art since its founding in 1846, making its art collection a key element in its cultural and educational mission. In the fall of 2011, the St. Louis Mercantile Library Art Museum was officially established with an advisory board and the mission to tell the story of Missouri and the nation’s heartland region by collecting, exhibiting and providing a venue for Missouri art and artists and encouraging partnerships between scholars, artists, collectors, and the region’s cultural community.  This exhibition of the Library’s permanent collection celebrates the Library’s ongoing commitment to Missouri art through works from the 18th through the 21st centuries presented in five thematic sections.   


 Angelo Corrubia: Scenes of St. Louis

In Meier Gallery, Level Two Atrium Through November 9, 2018

Born in Barile, Potenza Province, Italy in 1881, artist Angelo B.M. Corrubia is known for his landscapes and farm scenes, as well as masterful renderings of urban buildings in St. Louis, his home from the 1920s-1940s.  After studying architecture at Washington University, he designed many important St. Louis buildings including the Sacred Heart Convent and Saint Ambrose Church.  The St. Louis Mercantile Library wishes to gratefully acknowledge Thom Pegg for the generous donation of selected works by this noted St. Louis artist.

100 Million Buttons

100 Million Buttons Can't Be Wrong

In the Shopmaker American Political Collection Gallery 

The Shopmaker Political Collection contains over five thousand items used by candidates in the election process.  Although the collection includes some materials from state and local elections, the vast majority of the collection relates to presidential campaigns.  Similarly, while the collection include bumper stickers, posters, hats, cigars, paper dolls, coffee mugs, and so much more, by far the largest number of objects are buttons.  This exhibition draws its inspiration and its name from the button Wendell Wilkie made famous in his 1940 bid for president, “100 million buttons can’t be wrong” and explores the fascinating history of the ubiquitous campaign button.  This focused exhibition examines the range of sizes, the degree of seriousness, and the use of text and images that have been used over the years.  

Lincoln Exhibition

Lincoln: The Changing Face of an American President

In the Shopmaker Political Print Gallery

The changes in Lincoln’s appearance that were manifested over the period of his presidency reflect the rigors of the Civil War and the personal tragedies he suffered with the death of his son, Tad.  This exhibition traces these changes through a selection of images of Lincoln across several media, including prints, photographs, sculpture and textiles.  The portraits tell the story of Lincoln’s rise from young circuit lawyer to inspiring president to icon of American democracy.  

nast image

Seeing Santa Claus: Thomas Nast's Images of Christmas

In Meier Gallery, Level Two Atrium
November 30, 2018-January 20, 2019