Exhibitions

Art and educational exhibitions illustrate transformative moments in Missouri and U.S. history. The State Historical Society of Missouri houses exhibition galleries at the Center for Missouri Studies in Columbia. SHSMO also provides materials for display in galleries and exhibition spaces across the state.

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Going West, 1934, lithograph by Thomas Hart Benton
November 12, 2022 – March 5, 2023 | George A. Spiva Center for the Arts - Joplin

The complete collection of 91 Thomas Hart Benton Editioned Lithographs will be on exhibition at the George A. Spiva Center for the Arts as part of the opening celebration of the Harry M. Arts & Entertainment Cornell Complex in Joplin November 12, noon to 5 p.m. Visitors can see the exhibition, on loan from the State Historical Society of Missouri, until March 5, 2023.


A black and white photo of the Benny Sharp Band performing. The female lead singer is in the foreground.
August 2, 2022 – April 29, 2023 | SHSMO St. Louis Research Center
Music in Missouri explores Missouri’s contribution to American music, specifically St. Louis music styles, such as ragtime, jazz, rock ‘n roll, and rap.

Sepia toned photo of ginseng roots
July 19, 2022 – February 18, 2023 | Center for Missouri Studies, Columbia

Long used in Chinese herbal medicine, American ginseng has been a valuable export since the 18th century. Ginseng Culture in Missouri explores the use, harvest, and resulting regulation of ginseng in the state with photographs, pamphlets, letters, newspapers, books, and illustrations from SHSMO collections.


Title graphic saying "In Their Own Words: Celebrating the National Women and Media Collection"
July 6 – December 23, 2022 | Center for Missouri Studies, Columbia
Celebrating the 35th anniversary of the National Women and Media Collection, In Their Own Words features the voices of important women working in media straight from their diaries, letters, and interviews. Visitors will learn of their struggles and triumphs in the media industry and how these journalists were able to navigate careers in a traditionally male-dominated industry.

A Black woman sits on a step in front of a building
July 5 – December 4, 2022 | Center for Missouri Studies & Reynolds Journalism Institute, Columbia
On display at SHSMO and RJI through November 5, 2022, Mr. Pruitt’s Possum Town presents a selection of photographs by Otis Noel Pruitt, a white photographer who documented life from 1920-1960 in the segregated town of Columbus, Mississippi–known locally as "Possum Town."

Artwork depicting a horse running with a train in background
January 25 – December 23, 2022 | Center for Missouri Studies, Columbia
Many of the animals we associate with America are not American at all. Horses, cows, and most other domesticated livestock were introduced into North America by European colonists. Their presence in this selection of artworks by George Caleb Bingham and Thomas Hart Benton subtly represents European colonization and the complex cultural and environmental issues associated with “civilizing” the native “wilderness.”