Art Collection

About the Collection

The Society 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 the Society's holdings.

The Society'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.


Organizations and school groups can schedule tours of the Main Gallery by contacting the Society at (573) 882-7083 or (800) 747–6366.

Directions to the Gallery in Columbia.

Online Exhibits

Art of George Caleb Bingham and Thomas Hart Benton
Editorial Cartoons Collection
Fred Geary: Missouri Master of the Woodcut Flickr
Portraits by George Caleb Bingham Flickr
Women, Children and George Caleb Bingham Flickr


Four Turbulent Decades: The Cartoons of Tom Engelhardt

Four Turbulent Decades: The Cartoons of Tom Engelhardt

May 9 – November 14

Research Center–Columbia

Explore pivotal events ranging from the President Kennedy assassination to the 9/11 attacks as portrayed through the evocative images of longtime St. Louis Post-Dispatch political cartoonist Tom Engelhardt. The exhibit will feature editorial cartoons spanning Engelhardt's career that demonstrate his unique historical perspective and his ability to stir the public conscience. Take advantage of this opportunity to see Engelhardt's poignant artwork on topics such as the civil rights movement, the environment, and the Vietnam War.

Interested in learning more about Engelhardt's political cartoons, visit the gift shop.

Audubon's Paper Menageries: Birds and Quadrupeds

Audubon's Paper Menageries: Birds and Quadrupeds

June 20 – November 28

Research Center–Columbia

John James Audubon (1785–1851) traversed North America studying and painting the nation's birds and animals. Working with printmakers, he translated these experiences into spectacular hand-colored engravings and lithographs depicting American wildlife. Audubon's Paper Menageries: Birds and Quadrupeds features selected original prints from Audubon's gigantic books, The Birds of America (1827–1838) and The Viviparous Quadrupeds of North America (1845–1848). Viewers will see bison, bears, hawks, and bluebirds. Perhaps the most poignant image is the life-sized, hand-colored engraving of a pair of passenger pigeons, members of a species that became extinct in 1914. Join the State Historical Society for a curator's walk-though at 1:30 p.m. on August 29.

Thomas Hart Benton’s American Mythologies

Thomas Hart Benton’s American Mythologies

November 6, 2015–January 24, 2016

Crisp Museum, Cape Girardeau

The State Historical Society of Missouri is partnering with Southeast Missouri State University's Crisp Museum to offer the Thomas Hart Benton’s American Mythologies exhibition free of charge in southeast Missouri. The show explores the popular history of the nineteenth- and twentieth-century Midwest and West in this display of Benton’s vast landscapes, scenes of mighty rivers, and bigger-than-life characters whose legends remain in the American psyche. Take in the exhibition at the Crisp Museum, 518 S. Fountain Street, Cape Girardeau. Join SHSMO’s art curator Joan Stack at the opening reception from 4–8 p.m. on November 6.