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History of St. Louis Life Revealed in Photography Exhibit at Lambert

Posted on April 18, 2016 in Art

Millions of visitors to St. Louis will be welcomed by images of the city’s past at Lambert-St. Louis International Airport with the new exhibition, St. Louis by Sievers, curated by the Missouri History Museum. The photography exhibition in the Terminal 2 Baggage Claim showcases early 20th Century St. Louis life from the Museum’s rarely seen Siever’s collection, which features the works of father and son, Isaac and Al Sievers.

Viewers will connect with scenes of beer garden gatherings, early day airport limos, women’s roller derby and the once prominent St. Louis hat-making trade. Large panoramas above the bag claim carousels feature some momentous images as well, depicting the suffragist movement, African-American benevolent societies and a major jubilee celebration for one of St. Louis’ Jesuit leaders.

The International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum, based in St. Louis, is contributing to the exhibition with a showcase of four important cameras that the elder Sievers utilized through his photography career. By viewing the cameras, one can see the process that helped produce beautiful images around St. Louis.

In the late 1910s, Isaac Sievers started his photography studio on Olive Street, and it would become one of several major studios operating in St. Louis. Sievers specialized in taking panoramas and photographs of businesses and gatherings. As his business expanded, he hired other photographers. In a few short years, Sievers was joined by his son and apprentice, Alvin, who took over the studio in the 1930s and kept it going until he retired in the 1990s.

Travelers also have the opportunity to step inside these historical images. Through green screen technology provided by GoodEye PhotoShare, visitors are able to use their personal smartphone to take a photo of themselves and mail it to a special email address. Within minutes, they will receive a reply email with them embedded in a historic St. Louis photo.

St. Louis by Sievers will be on display through October 2017.

St. Louis by Sievers is the latest exhibition of the Lambert Art & Culture Program, which is dedicated to promoting local cultural works and institutions to area residents and St. Louis visitors. The program is led by the seven-member Airport Art Advisory Committee. Current members are Shelley Hagan, Wells Fargo Curator Corporate Art; Laura Helling, Director of Development for Wings of Hope; Marilu Knode, Director of Laumeier Sculpture Park; Leslie Markle, Curator of Public Art, Mildred Lane Kemper Art Museum; Kiku Obata, Founding Principal of Kiku Obata & Co.; Roseann Weiss, Director of Community and Public Arts for the St. Louis Regional Arts Commission; and Freida L. Wheaton, Salon 53 and Founder of Alliance of Black Art Galleries.