The St. Louis Art Museum is one of our City's treasures. Like the university which once housed it, the museum was originally located downtown. Its move to the park and into a new home in Cass Gilbert's Palace of the Fine Arts inspired a period of growth and acquisition that made it one of the country's principal art museums.
It remains so today.
That the museum is free is testimony to importance that taxpayers of the City and the county attach to art and to the work of the museum. It is their intention that SLAM's collections and programs edify everyone. And, each year, a half million visitors are awed by the art ' and by the building itself.
Today I joined other elected officials and the museum's strongest supporters in opening the museum's first major expansion since the 1950s. And it is a wonderful addition. Sir David Chipperfield, Michel Desvigne, our HOK, and hundreds of skilled constructors and artisans have worked magic, creating a space that celebrates art and light, artists and visitors, in equal parts. With the additional space, there will be more to see in both the Chipperfield expansion and Cass Gilbert main building. And the experience of doing so will be greatly enhanced.
This investment in our future adds to the City's vibrant culture and is part of what will continue to make St. Louis a great place to live, work and play.
I was very proud to be there to help celebrate it.