As part of our mission to preserve and share the history of the state, the State Historical Society of Missouri offers free exhibitions at galleries in the Center for Missouri Studies.
Located at 605 Elm Street in downtown Columbia, the Center for Missouri Studies galleries are open Tuesday-Friday from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Free parking is available in the Center parking lot at the corner of 6th and Locust Streets.
Mr. Pruitt’s Possum Town
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."
Sponsored by the National Endowment for the Humanities and presented in partnership with the Missouri School of Journalism, the free exhibition is curated by Dr. Berkley Hudson, a professor emeritus at the Missouri School of Journalism.
Find the exhibition in the SHSMO Art Galleries on the first floor at the SHSMO Center for Missouri Studies and on the first floor of the Reynolds Journalism Institute a few blocks southeast of the Center.
Note to visitors: this exhibition contains some images that are sensitive or offensive. Screens have been installed to give visitors control over the choice to view these images.
Join us at the Center for Missouri Studies on August 25 for the opening reception of Mr. Pruitt’s Possum Town with exhibit curator Dr. Berkley Hudson, professor emeritus at the Missouri School of Journalism. The reception is free and open to the public.
A limited number of Dr. Hudson's book, O. N. Pruitt's Possum Town, will be available for purchase and signing.
In Their Own Words
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.
This free exhibition is showing now through December 2022 in the Wenneker Family Gallery on the second floor at the SHSMO Center for Missouri Studies.
Virtual Program: Voices of the National Women and Media Collection
Hear from three women whose records are archived as part of the National Women and Media Collection.
Betsey Bruce, Sheila Gibbons, and Andrea Stone will join us virtually at 11 a.m. CDT on August 24 to discuss their careers and the challenges of working in a traditionally male-dominated industry. The audience is invited to ask questions of the panelists during the live program. Online and free, registration required.
Join us at the Center for Missouri Studies on September 7 for the opening reception of In Their Own Words with exhibit curators and SHSMO archival staff Laura Jolley, Elizabeth Engel, Heather Richmond, and Aleksandra Kinlen.
A special pop-up exhibit featuring original materials from the National Women and Media Collection will also be available during the reception. The reception and pop-up are free and open to the public.
Our Missouri Podcast Summer 2022 Series
Coinciding with the opening of the exhibition In Their Own Words: Celebrating the National Women and Media Collection, Our Missouri dedicated Summer Series 2022 to the women featured within the collection and exhibit, as well as the journalists, scholars, archivists, and librarians who have pioneered and preserved its materials. Free to listen on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, and the SHSMO website.
- Part 1: Starting the National Women and Media Collection with Jean Gaddy Wilson
- Part 2: Women's Page Journalism and Soft News with Dr. Kimberly Voss
- Part 3: Creating the Exhibit with Curators Laura Jolley, Elizabeth Engel, Aleksandra Kinlen, and Heather Richmond
- Part 4: An Oral History with Marjorie Paxson and Jean Gaddy Wilson
Picturing Missouri Sharecroppers
Picturing Missouri Sharecroppers explores the 1939 sharecroppers strike with images drawn from State Historical Society of Missouri collections.
Presented in conjunction with Mr. Pruitt's Possum Town, this free exhibition displays work by two St. Louis Post-Dispatch colleagues, cartoonist Daniel Fitzpatrick and photojournalist Arthur Witman. Fitzpatrick and Witman’s depictions of southeast Missouri’s cultural and racial landscape in the 1930s and 1940s share some similarities with Pruitt’s Mississippi photographs.
Now showing in SHSMO Art Galleries on the first floor at the SHSMO Center for Missouri Studies through November 5, 2022.
Ginseng Culture in Missouri
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.
Visit the Columbia Research Center on the second floor of the Center for Missouri Studies and explore how the popularity of ginseng rose and was later tempered by the reality of production, crop disease, and the overharvesting of wild roots. The exhibit is free and open to the public.