Gallery Talk

March 18, 2017 Artist Gallery Talk Featuring Daven Anderson

Meet Daven Anderson, the artist whose work is featured in the exhibition The Rivers: A Celebration of Life and Work on America's Waterways on display at the St. Louis Mercantile Library form February 4-March 27.  Learn more about this fascinating series at the Artist's Gallery Talk on Saturday, March 18 at 1:00 p.m. in the gallery.  This event is free and open to the public.  Public tours that include the exhibition are held every Saturday at 11:00 a.m. and Sunday at 2:00 p.m., or may be schedueld by appointment by phoning 314-516-7281.


Gallery Talk

March 18, 2017 Art Merit Badge Opportunity

Attention Scouts!  Visit the St. Louis Mercantile Library on Sunday March 18th from 2:30-3:30pm for a chance to earn an Art Merit Badge. Artist Daven Anderson, whose work is featured in the exhibition The Rivers: A Celebration of Life and Work on America's Waterways, will discuss his works and his career as a painter This event is free and open to the public.  Please call 314-516-7248 to provide your RSVP.

Wright Award

March 24, 2017 Donald T. Wright Award and James V. Swift Medal Presentation Luncheon

Join us at the St. Louis Mercantile Library on Friday March 24, 2017 as we honor Artist Daven Anderson with the 2017 Captain Donald T. Wright Award and present the 2017 James V. Swift Medal to Mercantile Library Executive Director John Hoover.  The event will begin with a reception and showing of the exhibition The Rivers: A Celebration of Life and Work on America's Waterways, followed by a luncheon and presentation by John Hoover.  Tickets are $45 for members or $50 for non-members.  Please call 314-516-7248 for tickets or more information.


May 5-7, 2017 St. Louis Fine Print, Rare Book & Paper Arts Fair

The St. Louis Fine Print, Rare Book & Paper Arts Fair brings together thirty local and national fine print and rare book dealers to present a broad array of exceptional materials appealing to collectors at all levels of experience. From finely illustrated books to prints by Audubon, WPA artists and Old Masters, original watercolors and historic photographs, the thousands of treasures available to view and purchase include something for every taste and budget. The Fair is presented annually the first weekend in May to benefit the Mercantile Library's collection and conservation funds.

Visit for more information. 

Give STL Day

May 11, 2017 Give STL Day 

The St. Louis Mercantile Library will once again be participating on Give STL Day, on May 11, 2017.  Give STL Day is a 24-hour giving event organized by the St. Louis Community Foundation to rally financial support for deserving non-profits in the region.  Your donation to the St. Louis Mercantile Library will help us continue to offer educational programming and aid in our staff's research, teaching, and curatorial services as we preserve the great St. Louis cultural asset that is the Mercantile. Visit for more information.

audubon and beyond

Audubon and Beyond: Collecting Five Centuries of Natural History at the St. Louis Mercantile Library

On Level One through June 2017

This most imaginative exhibition the Library has presented to date will seek to engage the St. Louis public with interactive programs and lectures on the green world around us. Audubon and Beyond tells the history of the Library’s contributions to early St. Louis’ scientific education through its imaginative and awe- inspiring primary and original collections, some of the most diversified in any early American library outside of the American Museum of Natural History itself. This introduction to such a wide universe of nature at the Library will undoubtedly provide a common ground on which to link natural history to the natural present. This exhibition is the second after Mapping St. Louis History in a tetralogy marking in progression the 175th Anniversary of the founding of the St. Louis Mercantile Library.

Tern Press

Tern Press: Printing and Illustrating Timeless English Literature and the Art of Nicholas and Mary Parry 

On Level Two through August 2017

The Mercantile Library has collected the works of private presses for generations, and has built some extraordinary holdings in the book arts, fine bindings, and fine printings which can be used for study and projects in a number of research applications. The main interest of the Mercantile has been to collect a broad, exemplary collection of American presses and printers.  At the same time the Library never neglected the English presses.  When a press demonstrates a particluar adeptness in merging art and design with print and paper, the Library, with its additional mission of providing an unusual museum setting as well, is particularly interested, and no press here has been more admired or more fully collected than Tern Press because of that artistic quality.  For more information click here.

Daven Anderson

The Rivers: A Celebration of Life and Work on America's Waterways

On Level Two Through March 27, 2017

This unique exhibition features paintings in watercolor and oil by St. Louis artist Daven Anderson who builds on his training in the U.S. Naval Academy and his lifelong history of engagement with inland waterways to document all aspects of this essential American resource.  His paintings take the viewer onboard working boats, alongside dock workers, and into the heart of busy port cities, providing glimpses of American life few of us ever experience.  This series of paintings was created across a broad geographic range of inland waters, including the West Coast, the Gulf Coast and Port of New Orleans, the Mississippi River and its tributaries, the East Coast and the Great Lakes.  While the series is ongoing as Anderson continues his travels, some forty paintings are now complete and of these, twenty-three will be featured at the Mercantile Library.  The works are a complement to the mission of the Herman T. Pott National Inland Waterways Library, a special subject collection within the Mercantile Library. 

About Vietnam

Presidents and War

In the Shopmaker American Political Collection Gallery through June 2017

This focused exhibition examines the role wars have played in political campaigns and presidencies.  A variety of materials including glassware, campaign buttons, posters, photographs, political cartoons, newspapers and books illustrate how war and military conflicts have impacted presidents and candidates from George Washington to Barack Obama.  The artifacts show how Washington’s role as soldier-president set an example that was utilized by candidates to reinforce their image of leadership, how candidates have sought and won the endorsement of veterans and the military, how candidates used fear of war and the promise of peace as a powerful campaign tool, and how presidential handling – or mishandling – of wars affected their presidencies.  This special exhibition is drawn from the Dr. Allen B. and Helen S. Shopmaker Political Collection, the St. Louis Globe-Democrat archives, and the Mercantile Library archival and rare book collections.  


The Nature of Light: Photographs by Heidi Lopata Sherman

On Level One through June 2017

Heidi Lopata Sherman (1954-2014) was, in her own words, “obsessed with light.” This retrospective exhibition presents the broad range of Sherman’s work, including small format platinum print landscapes, large format silver gelatin print landscapes and interiors, and brilliant large format flora studies.

Lincoln Exhibition

Lincoln: The Changing Face of an American President

In the Shopmaker Political Print Gallery through January 2018

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.  

Ok, I’ll Do It Myself! American Women’s Frontier Narratives from the Caroline Schimmel Collection

August 2017- November 2017