Notable Pieces in the St. Louis Art Museum Collection by Ted and Maryanne Simmons | art and theatre | Pro Club Bd

Last year, Hall of Fame baller Ted Simmons and art artist Maryanne Ellison Simmons donated a collection they’ve spent decades building.

It was a part gift, part purchase, by the couple to the St. Louis Art Museum, which paid just over $2.3 million, about half the value of the artworks.

At the time, Elizabeth Wyckoff, curator of prints, drawings and photographs, said the major purchase of politically and socially engaged pieces was “transformative” for the museum’s post-WWII print collection.

“It changes the entire character of American art history that the museum can tell,” she said. The Simmons collection includes 43 artists, 25 of whom were not represented at all in the museum.

Now the museum is ready to show the rest of the city more than 200 of the 833 works it acquired. They are mostly contemporary prints, but also drawings, collages, photographs and even woodblocks.

People also read…

  • Two St. Louis County men were charged in Mizzou for blinding the freshman and being unable to speak or walk
  • Media Views: The Cardinals’ current announcers were berated by Buck early on and were glad they were
  • Greitens says the violent video of people being hunted was meant to be humorous
  • As Arenado cleans up and rookies take points, the Cardinals’ “best lineup” begins to take shape
  • Notebook of the Cardinals: Red Sox, ‘Big Papi’ honors Pujols’ last visit with a monster gift
  • Bayer at ‘end of rope’ in Roundup cases, says St. Louis attorney
  • ‘Next Man Up’: Cardinals lose O’Neill and Sox streaks, still seek relief resolution
  • Taking wild from Wainwright’s hands into McFarland’s hands proves “difficult” for Cardinals.
  • Men linked to firecrackers have been charged with murder after a house explosion killed four people
  • Cardinals Quick Hits: Gorman has a great time, starts Cardinals, Flaherty past Brewers
  • Jury awards $2 million to former KTRS employee Frank O. Pinion
  • ‘Where did everyone go?’ Hiring issues keep a Ted Drewes location closed
  • Missouri efforts to draft an independent candidate for the US Senate, focusing on the former US Attorney
  • First case of monkeypox in Missouri discovered in Kansas City
  • With no one left to run the shop, a watchmaker from Brentwood gives up

The exhibition is titled “Catching the Moment” in reference to Simmons’ position behind home plate as Cardinal. It runs from June 26th to September. 11.

But although more than 200 works make up only about a quarter of the collection, there’s still plenty to see. Therefore, curator Wyckoff and Sophie Barbisan, assistant paper conservator, propose 10 pieces not to be missed. Barbisan chose and describes the first two, the rest by Wyckoff.


Illegal Alien’s Guide to Somewhere Over the Rainbow (2010) by Enrique Chagoya

Enrique Chagoya, Illegal Alien’s Guide to Somewhere Over the Rainbow, 2010 • Chagoya’s lithographs are a blend of hand-drawn and photolithographic processes, developed in collaboration with master printer Bud Shark at his Shark’s Ink printing house. The artist frequently references Mesoamerican culture, both with his chosen imagery and with the Amat paper support used for codices in ancient Mexico.

40,000 celebrate

“Celebrate 40,000 Years of American Art” (1995) by Jaune Quick-to-See Smith

Jaune Quick-to-See Smith, Celebrate 40,000 Years of American Art, 1995 • Jaune Quick-to-See Smith’s print, created in St. Louis at the Washington University School of Art’s Collaborative Print Workshop, now Island Press, was conceived as a “succinct commentary on colonial thought”. It reminds us that advanced civilizations existed here before Europeans came to this continent. The use of the collagraph technique allowed the artist to play with textures as she worked on a PVC panel with a thick coat of acrylic glue dusted with the abrasive grain Carborundum along with collages of different papers and canvases.

finger bowl

Finger Bowl (1995) directed by Kiki Smith

Kiki Smith, “Finger Bowl,” 1995 • Kiki Smith’s ‘Finger Bowl’ is the first artwork a visitor will encounter at the exhibition, and it also turns out to be the first purchase Ted and Maryanne Ellison Simmons made when they decided to get serious engage in collecting contemporary art. The solid silver bowl is literally sculpted by the artist’s own fingers pressing into the bowl’s interior. Three fingers stand for “feet”.


To Fix It (Wall Clock II) (2018) directed by Liliana Porter

Liliana Porter, “To Fix It”, 2018 • There are three works by Liliana Porter in Catching the Moment and one of her captivating videos is also featured in Gallery 301. All of these works include small figurines or toys that she has collected over many decades. In “To Fix It” a small, kneeling worker works on the filigree work of a wall clock.

bomb head

BOMBHEAD (2002) directed by Bruce Conner

Bruce Conner, BOMBHEAD, 2003 • Bruce Conner’s “BOMBHEAD” is a digital print that had its roots in a much smaller, hand-made collage he had created more than a decade earlier, in which he had cut out a newspaper clipping of an atomic mushroom cloud and pasted it over the head of a uniformed figure . The work depicts the notoriously shape-shifting artist adapting to the latest digital technology in 2003, even as he allowed a tiny speck of red paint to stain a tie pin.


“The Dance of Death” (1976) by HC Westermann

HC Westermann, “Dance of Death” from The Connecticut Ballroom, 1976 • HC Westermann was a master craftsman best known for his expertly crafted wooden sculptures that manage to bewilder, delight and disturb the viewer. The whimsically elegant couple in “Dance of Death” emerge among rats on a deserted pier, with the hulking carcass of a slashing battleship in the background – a reminder of the artist’s years as a Marine aboard the USS Enterprise in the Pacific chapter of Second world war.


Candy Darling on Her Deathbed (1973) directed by Peter Hujar

Peter Hujar, Candy Darling on Her Deathbed, 1973 • Warhol superstar and transgender icon Candy Darling posed elegantly and dramatically for Peter Hujar in 1973 before dying of lymphoma the following year at the age of 29. The scene was carefully choreographed by the actress and photographer. Hujar subtly modulated the black, gray and white tones of the flower-filled hospital room with his fluorescent light.


Snacktime Marcy (1999) directed by Tom Huck

Tom Huck, “Snacktime Marcy” Woodcuts, 1999 • The Simmonses didn’t stop racking up almost every pressure Tom Huck has ever put on; they also selected drawings and wooden sticks, like this one for his triptych “Snacktime Marcy”. The wooden blocks in the collection allow visitors to learn more about the print making process, but they also showcase Huck’s incredible artistry of hand carving the image into the birch plywood blocks.


“Yellow No Same, No. 1” (1992) by Roger Shimomura

Roger Shimomura, “Yellow No Same, No. 1”, 1992 • “Yellow No Same, No.” 1” comes from a portfolio of 12 prints, each with the same landscape format, containing two groups of figures heavily separated by barbed wire. Roger Shimomura is an American artist of Japanese descent who, as a child, was incarcerated with his family in an internment camp as ordered by President Franklin D. Roosevelt in 1942. These prints relate directly to that experience and pose Japanese Americans in their 1940s attire across from barbed wire with kabuki actors outside.


Savage Breeze (1974) directed by Helen Frankenthaler

Helen Frankenthaler, Savage Breeze, 1974 • Helen Frankenthaler approached printmaking in a similar way to painting – with a seriously experimental attitude. Savage Breeze is notable for its impressive size and the artist’s choice to bring out the grain of the wood blocks in the texture of the print. It was printed at Universal Limited Art Editions on Long Island (New York) in collaboration with the master printers there, but she almost gave up before deciding to put a layer of white ink underneath: that finally gave it the “glow”. that she was looking for.

What “Capturing the Moment: Contemporary Art from the Collection of Ted L. and Maryanne Ellison Simmons” • When June 26-Sept. 11; Opening hours are Tuesday-Sunday 10am-5pm, Friday 10am-9pm, • Where St Louis Art Museum, 1 Fine Arts Drive, Forest Park • How much $12, $10 for seniors and students, $6 for 6-12 year olds, free for children under 5; free for museum members and on Fridays • More info

Thursday 23 June 2022


Thursday 23 June 2022


Thursday 23 June 2022


Thursday 23 June 2022


Leave a Comment