Best Kept Secret (Arts Division)

Saint Louis Art Museum Print Study Room

It's not a secret, per se, but it's not widely known, either. The Saint Louis Art Museum holds a collection of more than 14,000 printed images on its fourth floor — and you're welcome to examine them all. At your own table. With the artworks right in front of you. And a staff ready to help you find related works, or answer questions about what you're seeing. And there's no cost. The Saint Louis Art Museum Print Study Room exists to give art lovers the opportunity to view more than six centuries' worth of drawings, prints and photographs that are part of the museum's collection, but not on regular display. Of course, there are rules: No food or drink. No pens. Bags and coats must be checked. And most important, you must make reservations at least 48 hours in advance; the Print Study Room has room for just nineteen people. The reservation system also allows you to request certain artists' work, or request a spectrum of works from a defined era or on a specific subject. It's a customized waltz through art history, and you can have different dance partners every time you visit. How many visits will it take to exhaust all 14,000-plus possibilities? It may take you a lifetime to find out. For more info, e-mail paper
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