Art Collection

About the Collection

SHSMO holds one of the largest collections of paintings by George Caleb Bingham, including, Order No. 11. The Thomas Hart Benton Collection contains the Year of Peril series, lithographs, and other works. Many other Missouri artists, both past and present, are well represented in SHSMO's holdings.

SHSMO's extensive editorial cartoon collection includes original drawings by Daniel Fitzpatrick, S. J. Ray, Bill Mauldin, Don Hesse, Tom Engelhardt, and others.

The Main Gallery and Corridor Galleries feature rotating exhibits, with selected paintings by George Caleb Bingham and Thomas Hart Benton on permanent display.

Art Reproductions

Reproductions of select pieces are now available. Visit our online store.

Tours

Organizations and school groups can schedule tours of the Main Gallery by submitted a completed Tour Request Form.

Directions to the Gallery in Columbia

Digital Collections

Current Exhibitions

Vernacular America in the 1930s and 1940s: The Art of Ben Messick and Fred Shane

Vernacular America in the 1930s and 1940s: The Art of Ben Messick and Fred Shane

December 1, 2015 – May 2016

Research Center–Columbia

Extraordinary images of ordinary Americans from the Depression and World War II era will be celebrated in the forthcoming exhibition Vernacular America in the 1930s and 1940s: The Art of Ben Messick and Fred Shane at the Research Center–Columbia. Messick's interest in the profundity of everyday life had its roots in his humble beginnings in Strafford, Missouri, where he lived until he joined the armed forces in World War II. He found a kindred spirit in artist and educator Fred Shane, who was born in Kansas City and taught in Columbia at the University of Missouri. Shane used his wit and a keen observational eye to create works featuring townsfolk in Columbia and small Missouri communities.

Picturing Politics: Political Images by George Caleb Bingham and Thomas Hart Benton

Picturing Politics: Political Images by George Caleb Bingham and Thomas Hart Benton

December 15, 2015 – June 2016

Research Center–Columbia

Missouri artists George Caleb Bingham and Thomas Hart Benton had politics in their blood. Bingham was an active Whig who served in the Missouri state legislature, while Benton, named after one of Missouri's first senators, was the son of a Missouri congressman. Both men drew artistic inspiration from Missouri politics, creating images that contained political messages and commentaries on contemporary issues. Picturing Politics marks the return of Bingham's Watching the Cargo to Columbia from a national tour, as well as the engravings and lithographs of Bingham's Election series and political lithographs by Benton such as Mr. President, a portrait of Harry Truman.

In Sync with Thomas Hart Benton

In Sync with Thomas Hart Benton

January 8, 2016 – June 2016

Research Center–Columbia

In association with the "We Always Swing®" Jazz Series "A Musical Tribute to Thomas Hart Benton," the State Historical Society presents the mini-exhibition In Sync with Thomas Hart Benton, which will showcase several of Benton's artworks that relate to music. Drawings and lithographs depicting musicians and a handwritten example of Benton's own system of notations for the harmonica will be on display.

Traveling Art

Traveling Art

The State Historical Society of Missouri's art collection has become the nation's most significant Missouri-related collection. SHSMO artworks are often requested to help share the story of Missouri and its role opening the West. Missouri's history has been shown in galleries from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, allowing new and larger audiences to view significant works within the collection.

Currently, the State Historical Society of Missouri is a part of these exhibitions.