Bright Spirit of Marimekko, taken June 24, 1966, by Tony Vaccaro for cover of LIFE magazine. (c) Tony Vaccaro
Now on display at Saint Louis Art Museum: Gorgeous prints
Got plans for New Year's Day? You do now. While it's definitely a holiday, some of the city's top museums have decided to stay open — and there's other fun stuff you can do, too. (Did you hear Garden Glow has now been extended through January 9? Hells yes!)
Make plans now ... you can always cancel them if you're hungover!
1. See a pop-art show at the Saint Louis Art Museum
The St. Louis Art Museum is open on New Year's Day until 9 p.m., which makes it the perfect time to catchBlow-Up: Graphic Abstraction in 1960s Design, curated by Genny Cortinovis. The show celebrates the large-scale, abstract patterns in the fabrics, furnishing and fashions of the 1960s. Anyone with a love of style will drool (neatly) over the gorgeous Marimekko textiles, as well as Ettorre Sottsass Jr.'s red-and-white-striped Superbox wardrobe and Gaetano Pesce's UP 1 chair. Tony Vaccaro's photographs of a Scandinavian design festival sponsored by Famous-Barr in 1966 round out the exhibition. Blow-Up is on display in gallery 100 at the Saint Louis Art Museum in Forest Park (314-721-0072 or www.slam.org) through Sunday, March 20, 2016. The museum is free on Fridays — even this holiday Friday — and open from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. Saint Louis Art Museum, Forest Park, St. Louis, 314-721-0072.
2. Visit the City Museum If the first day of the year is indicative of the rest of the days to come, how do you think you should resolve to spend it? Lazing around, eating leftover pizza and nursing a mighty hangover, or running around, having a good time with your friends and exploring one of our city's great treasures? For those who (wisely) choose the second option, the spectacular City Museum (750 North 16th Street; 314-231-2489 or www.citymuseum.org) is open from 9 a.m. to midnight Friday and Saturday (January 1 and 2). Dive into the caves, slip down the slide, catch a circus performance and more, all for the low, low price of $12. And who knows? Maybe your resolutions will be easier to keep all year long after you have some good, clean fun. Fri., Jan. 1, 9-midnight; Sat., Jan. 2, 9-midnight, $12. City Museum, 701 N. 15th St., St. Louis, 314-231-2489.
3. Pay homage to the Arch at the Saint Louis Art Museum As you may have heard, the Gateway Arch is now 50 years old. The Saint Louis Art Museum celebrates the Arch not as monument but as art in the new exhibition St. Louis Modern: The Era of Innovative Design. Viewing Eero Saarinen's design as a massive sculpture, the show's curators place the Arch in the context of other artists' work and use it as a way to discuss the the modernist revolution in art and industrial design between 1935 and 1965. The show features pieces such as an armchair designed by Charles and Ray Eames, Victor Hugo Proetz's Bull's Eye Mirror and a 1954 Corvette by Chevrolet. Admission is $6 to $14, and free on Friday. Also on Fridays, the museum is open all the way from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. — even on New Year's Day. Saint Louis Art Museum, Forest Park, St. Louis, 314-721-0072.
4. ... and at the Missouri History Museum The Gateway Arch has become visual shorthand for St. Louis. It shows up in films, commercials, on signs, T-shirts, bags, postcards. But what does the Arch really mean to the region? It was designed to celebrate Thomas Jefferson and his dream of westward expansion, but the meanings of our civic symbols change as the people who live in its shadow also change. Arch Perspectives, now at the Missouri History Museum (Lindell Boulevard and DeBaliviere Avenue; 314-746-4599 or www.mohistory.org), offers a look back at the birth of the Arch and what it was meant to symbolize through photographs and original documents. The exhibit includes a continuing series of forums for people to discuss their interpretation of the monument's meaning. Is it a promise unfulfilled, a reminder of past glories, or something else entirely? Arch Perspectives is open daily through Sunday, January 24. Admission is free. A Walk in St. Louis 1875 and Coffee: St. Louis in Your Cup are both on exhibit as well. The museum is open 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Free admission. Missouri History Museum, Lindell Blvd. & DeBaliviere Ave., St. Louis, 314-746-4599.
Courtesy of Arch Perspectives, now at the Missouri History Museum.
5. Spend a day at the Saint Louis Science Center ... The St. Louis Science Center (5050 Oakland Avenue; 314-289-4400 or www.slsc.org) hosts The Science of Ripley's Believe It or Not, a discovery-based exhibition that uses the hard sciences such as genetics and biology to explain some of the most mysterious wonders of our world. Learn why reptiles grew to enormous size 60 million years ago, and why they don't today. Experience optical illusions and then discover how your brain can be into believing false information. See Willard Wigan's tiny sculptures that fit in the eye of a needle, and then learn how he makes them. You'll be amazed, both by what's on display and what you learn. The Science of Ripley's Believe It or Not is open daily through Sunday, January 3, 2016. Admission is $5.25 to $12.50. Mondays-Saturdays, 9:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.; Sundays, 11 a.m.-4:30 p.m. Saint Louis Science Center, 5050 Oakland Ave., St. Louis, 314-289-4400.
6. Or stop by at night for Mission: Impossible (or Star Wars on IMAX)
First Friday: Mission Impossible: Are you quietly and steadily surveilling your coworkers? Do you know what's going on in your neighborhood before it happens? Do you have a cloak and a fake mustache and a kit of gadgets always at the ready? If so, you sound like a spy in training (and like someone who needs a better outlet, to be honest) that makes you an excellent candidate to attend Mission: Impossible, the free spy-themed First Friday event at the Saint Louis Science Center (5050 Oakland Avenue; 314-289-4400 or www.slsc.org). You'll be able to watch the evening's namesake film starring Tom Cruise for free at 10 p.m. (tickets can be picked up beginning at 6 p.m.). Plus, you can get some comedic inspiration from episodes of Get Smart at 9 p.m., learn some Spy 101 at 6:30 and 8:30 p.m., and participate in the Celebrity Mole challenge throughout the night. Oh, and Star Wars: The Force Awakens will be playing in the OMNIMAX Theater at 6 and 8:30 p.m., in case you need to surveil that as well ($13.50 to $15.50). Fri., Jan. 1, 6 p.m., free admission. Saint Louis Science Center, 5050 Oakland Ave., St. Louis, 314-289-4400.
7. See some comedy in the Central West End ....
The Improv Shop hosts two shows tonight, each just $5. Come by at 8 p.m. for Storyteller (doors open at 7) or really sleep that hangover off and watch Cagematch at 10 p.m. Both $5. The Improv Shop, 510 N. Euclid Ave, St. Louis, 314-932-5540.
8. Or (finally) catch Garden Glow — now open til January 9. Transport yourself to a world of sheer holiday magic at the third annual Garden Glow. This event turns the already-gorgeous Missouri Botanical Garden (4344 Shaw Boulevard; 314-577-5100 or www.mobot.org) into a Yuletide dreamscape, with a million-plus lights twinkling throughout the grounds. Snap your photo against wintertime backdrops, enjoy traditional holiday tunes, take part in special seasonal festivities, and dig into warming comfort foods in the garden's on-site cafe, Sassafras. Garden Glow is open 5 to 9:30 p.m. nightly from Friday, December 18, through Saturday, January 9. Admission is $6 to $18. Missouri Botanical Garden, 4344 Shaw Blvd., St. Louis, 314-577-9400.