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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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Together for '21 Fest in Columbia
August 6–7 | University of Missouri–Columbia, Jesse Hall Rotunda and Lafferre Hall VR Lab
Explore ninety-eight paintings that comprise MU Museum of Art and Archaeology's Scruggs-Vandervoort-Barney Collection with this interactive virtual reality art exhibition designed by University of Missouri engineering students.

Together for '21 Fest in Columbia
August 6 – 8 | Center for Missouri Studies, Columbia
Oriented around the four seasons, these selected photographs by professional and amateur photographers showcase the geographic and cultural landscape of the state. On the occasion of Missouri's bicentennial, they provide an opportunity to reflect upon and increase the understanding of the state's rich diversity.

Together for '21 Fest in Columbia
August 6 – 8 | Center for Missouri Studies, Columbia
This collage by Clinton County artist Laurel Defreece depicts recent portraits of Clinton County residents juxtaposed with a painting of the old county courthouse on Main Street in Plattsburg.

Together for '21 Fest in Columbia
August 6 – 8 | Center for Missouri Studies, Columbia
In 1921, Vinnorma Shaw designed a poster to commemorate the Missouri Centennial and advertise the Missouri Centennial Exposition at the Missouri State Fair. One hundred years later, Missouri students help us commemorate the state’s 200th anniversary with these winning designs.

Together for '21 Fest in Columbia
August 6 – 8 | University of Missouri–Columbia, Jesse Hall Rotunda
Located in the House of Representatives Lounge at the Missouri State Capitol, A Social History of Missouri by Thomas Hart Benton is an iconic set of murals depicting the history and culture of Missouri. Visit the Jesse Hall Rotunda during Together for '21 Fest to experience a 70% scale reproduction of this legendary artwork.

Together for '21 Fest in Columbia
August 6 – 8 | Center for Missouri Studies, Columbia
Since the pioneer days of the American Midwest, quilts have been a cornerstone of Missouri culture, fashion, and tradition. This exhibition features quilts made across the state in honor of the bicentennial year.

Missouri 2021 logo
August 3 – December 23 2021 | Center for Missouri Studies, Columbia
Exploring the process of bicentennial planning, Together for '21: A Bicentennial Exhibition illustrates how Missourians came together to commemorate Missouri’s diverse past and present, and, importantly, where we want to be in the future.

Osage-Le Soldat du Chene
August 3, 2021 – February 11, 2022 | Center for Missouri Studies, Columbia

Cultural Crossroads showcases artwork, objects, and imagery associated with a wide range of people who were part of what became the state of Missouri in 1821.


A lithograph of a man and two boys sitting on a fence
December 22, 2020 – October 15, 2021 | Center for Missouri Studies, Columbia

This yearlong exhibition in three installments showcases examples of Thomas Hart Benton’s original watercolors and drawings for the Limited Editions Club publications of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and Life on the Mississippi. As a Missourian, Benton brought his own understanding of the landscape and people of the state to his illustrations, creating perceptive images that complement Twain’s prose.


Common Yellowthroat by David Plank
October 27, 2020 – November 12, 2021 | Center for Missouri Studies, Columbia

Artist David Plank has devoted his life to the artistic study of Missouri’s birds.  Unlike some wildlife artists, Plank never bases his images on photographs. Instead, he creates field studies and bases his finished paintings on these sketches. Plank’s images are thus a direct record of his intimate observations of the birds of Missouri.


Fitzpatrick cartoon with two signs "To Tokyo" and "To Berlin"
August 4, 2020 – September 30, 2021 | Center for Missouri Studies, Columbia

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning cartoonist, Daniel Fitzpatrick, chronicled the progression of World War II as it happened with powerful and poignant editorial cartoons. The final installment of this eighteen-month exhibition focuses on the ending years of the war, including the dropping of the atomic bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki that forced Japan’s surrender on V-J Day, August 15, 1945.