St. Louis was framed by pioneers, polished for the 1904 World’s Fair, and prospered through sports, beer and hearty individualism. These great public works of art embody the gritty heart and history of St. Louis.

(credit: Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

The Gateway Arch
11 N 4th St
St. Louis, MO 63102
(877) 982-1410

Price: Tickets for tram rides to the top are $10 ($5 for ages 3-15), museum is free
Hours: Summer Daily –  8 a.m. to 10 p.m., Winter Daily – 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Click here for a calendar of events

The Gateway Arch soars over the city as both sculpture and architecture, dedicated to the city’s pioneer spirit as a gateway to the west. Visitors can ride a tram to the top to enjoy breathtaking views. The site also offers a Museum of Westward Expansion, an award-winning film about the construction behind the Arch and more.

(credit: St. Louis Art Museum/Facebook)

Apotheosis of St. Louis
St. Louis Art Museum
1 Fine Arts Drive
St. Louis, MO 63110
(314) 721-0072

Price: Admission to museum is free, featured exhibits are free on Fridays
Hours: Tues to Sun – 10 a.m.m to 5 p.m., Fri – 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Mon – Closed
Click here for a calendar of events.

The statue of King Louis IX of France, crusading gloriously into battle, was the city’s symbol until replaced by the Arch in the mid-20th century. It was originally a plaster model, created by Charles H. Niehaus for the 1904 World’s Fair. After the Fair, the artist was asked to cast the statue in bronze, but his price was too high asking an astounding $90,000. A cheaper artisan was hired, and trouble ensued. The Apotheosis of St. Louis now stands in front of the St. Louis Art Museum as a symbol of the city’s dedication to art, heroism and Midwestern frugality.

RelatedBest Art Museums in St. Louis


The Way
Laumeier Sculpture Park
12580 Rott Road
St Louis, MO 63127
(314) 615-5278

Price: Free
Hours: Daily – 8 a.m. to sunset
Click here for a calendar of events

The Way, a monumental work by Alexander Liberman, is composed of eighteen salvaged oil tanks. Its epic scale is meant to evoke the classic architecture of Roman ruins and European cathedrals. Laumeier is a park-like setting, where visitors can wander wooded paths and clearings, encountering surprising modern sculpture at each turn. Enjoy indoor gallery shows, a gift shop and shady picnic areas to round out a perfect afternoon.

(credit: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)

Stan Musial Statue
Busch Stadium
Walnut St at S Broadway
Saint Louis, MO 63102
(314) 345-9600

Stan “the man” Musial played his entire career for the Cardinals. He went on to manage the Cards to a World Series win, own a restaurant, play the harmonica and participate in other St. Louis-style activities. Many local sports fans consider the oddly-proportioned monument an insult to their hero, but the statue, and the fifty years of controversy surrounding it, stand as a testament to the city’s dedication to the dual sports of baseball and controversy.

(credit: St. Louis Zoo)

Bust of Marlin Perkins
Saint Louis Zoo
1 Government Drive
St. Louis, MO 63110
(314) 781-0900

Price: Admission to the Zoo is free, but some attractions have a charge
Hours: Daily – 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Click here for a calendar of events.

Sculptor Bob Cassilly is best known as the founder of City Museum. His bust of Marlin Perkins is a meeting of two St. Louis heavyweights in one work of art. Perkins started his career at the St. Louis Zoo in 1926 as a member of the grounds crew, and returned as its director in 1962, when his Wild Kingdom series debuted. Cassilly’s bust reflects the warmth and enthusiasm that made Perkins famous.

Related: Best Art Fairs in St. Louis

What are your favorite works of art in St. Louis? Let us know in a comment below.

Lauren Haas is a writer who specializes in finding the fun! Lauren was the publisher of the St. Louis Area Family Gazette for eight years, and now writes freelance articles on St. Louis events and attractions, budget travel, arts and entertainment and fitness topics. Her work can be found at