Comprising more than 100 acres, the Laumeier Sculpture Park, Saint Louis is an open air museum. The sculpture park features more than 70 sculptures at any one time. The collection rotates, so new sculptures are being added as others go out on loan to other institutions around St. Louis and the world.
Accredited by the American Association of Museums and administered presently by Glen Gentele, the park began as a bequest to the city by Mrs. Henry Laumeier in memory of her late husband. Originally approached about the idea of a park in 1963, she left the founding gift of 72 acres plus her house to the city at her death in 1968.
The first sculptures arrived from Ernest Trova, who made a gift of more than 40 sculptures to start the park. Enthusiastically received by the public, the park began keeping its regular hours of 8 am to sunset, every day of the week. Indoor exhibits have been added, but are closed on Mondays and public holidays.
Guided tours of the outdoor park, indoor exhibits or both are available for a small fee while self-guided audio tours are free. First and third Sunday guided docent tours are offered free of charge. The park grounds are also available for wedding and special parties by arrangement with the museum office. For the popular summer season, it is best to book events at least six months in advance.
The park now attracts more than 300,000 visitors annually. Pets are also welcome as guests, although they must be kept leashed. While posing for private personal photos with the sculptures is permitted, commercial photography and video are prohibited. Climbing sculptures is also off limits.
The visual variety of the sculptures changes throughout the year. Check the museum calendar for changes and dates of new exhibit launches. A gift shop and library are also located at the museum.