SHSMO houses the nation's best collection of Missouri regional and westward expansion art, including Thomas Hart Benton's Year of Peril series, Fred Geary's regionalist woodcuts, and one of the largest collections of paintings by George Caleb Bingham. Also found in the collection are works by John James Audubon, Karl Bodmer, Frank Nuderscher, Fred Shane, and many other Missouri artists. A selection of these works is available online.
SHSMO's extensive editorial cartoon collection includes original drawings by Daniel Fitzpatrick, S. J. Ray, Bill Mauldin, Don Hesse, Tom Engelhardt, and others. Over 17,000 editorial cartoons from SHSMO's holdings have been digitized and made available for online viewing.
The Main and Corridor Galleries feature rotating exhibitions, with selected paintings on permanent display.
SHSMO artworks are often requested to help share the story of Missouri and its role opening the West. SHSMO held artwork has been shown in galleries from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York to the Amon Carter Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, allowing new and larger audiences to view significant works within the collection.
The Main and Corridor Galleries are located at the SHSMO Administrative Headquarters in Columbia. Organizations and school groups can schedule tours of the galleries by submitting a completed Tour Request Form.