The State Historical Society of Missouri | KBIA

The State Historical Society of Missouri

Janet Saidi / KBIA

The State Historical Society of Missouri houses the state’s largest collection of oral histories, newspapers dating back to the year 1808, 12,000 Civil War manuscript pages, and more than 30,000 pieces of art, all adding up to more than 74 football fields worth of material, according to SHSMO.

Until now, these collections were housed in the basement of Ellis Library on the campus of the University of Missouri.

That’s all about to change. 

At long last, the State Historical Society of Missouri's new Center for Missouri Studies building will open its doors to the public this Saturday. JOAN STACK tells us why this is one grand opening you won't want to miss! August 5, 2019

"I guess the idea that we're going to better be able to serve future generations of Missourians. This is an aspirational building. When you walk in you feel like you're somewhere special. It makes people think about Missouri history." -- JOAN STACK on what she's looking forward to the most when the State Historical Society's new Center for Missouri Studies building opens later this summer  May 27, 2019

New Historical Society Building Will Connect Missourians to a Rich Past

May 13, 2019
Jesse Hall during the Aug. 21, 2017 total solar eclipse
Nathan Lawrence / KBIA

When the Center for Missouri Studies opens on Elm Street this summer, anyone searching for a piece of history will have more access to more materials in much more space.

Here's a sampling of what's in store for visitors:

• The research center alone is twice as big as it was in the old Ellis Library facility.

• Right now, the art gallery can hold only a quarter of 1 percent of the collection right now. The new space more than doubles that.

An artist's process can be as fascinating as the finished product. If you've always wanted to experience that journey, so-to-speak, The State Historical Society of Missouri's final case exhibit (in their longtime home in Ellis Library), delivers a peek inside the sketchbook of a handful of Missouri artists. Guest: JOAN STACK  April 3, 2019

The State Historical Society of Missouri is honoring Black History Month with an exhibit titled, 'Exodus: Images of Black Migration in Missouri and Beyond, 1866-1940', now through the end of February. JOAN STACK tells us about one of the featured pieces by renowned Missouri artist Thomas Hart Benton. In addition to that, DAIVE DUNKLEY takes us through a whole host of events happening this month sponsored by the Black Studies Department at the University of Missouri. February 8, 2019

"It's as relevant now as it was then." -- JOAN STACK on Tom Engelhardt's 1968 political cartoon, 'But His Truth Goes Marching On', which originally ran in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch five days after the death of Martin Luther King, Jr. See it for yourself this week at the State Historical Society of Missouri. (They're closed today.) January 21, 2019

"As a thank you to our staff, and a way to say goodbye to all the people who come to visit us in Ellis Library, we would put up an exhibit that shows off the talent of the many people who work for The State Historical Society," JOAN STACK on the final show in the corridor gallery before the move to the new building on Elm Street next year. Additional guest: JOHN SCHNEIDER | December 21, 2018

Oklahoma sculptor Charles Banks Wilson created a life-size sculpture of his friend, famed Missouri artist Thomas Hart Benton, that became a permanent fixture at the Kansas City Art Institute in 1990. The State Historical Society of Missouri has the model for that sculpture on display now in their gallery, and the public is invited to come check it out. Guest: JOAN STACK November 8, 2018

JOAN STACK takes us inside the mind of a portrait artist who's works stands five or six feet tall. What are the challenges? What comes easy? Why are the subjects never smiling? And where can you visit artwork that large? (Actually, that last one's pretty easy to answer: The State Historical Society of Missouri.) September 26, 2018

"The stories that prompted her to tell those stories, and the family background that went into them, is what this lady addresses and it's fascinating. The story behind the stories of Laura Ingalls Wilder is at least as interesting as it is in her books." -- BOB PRIDDY, on Pulitzer Prize winning author Caroline Fraser's book about the acclaimed Missouri native. Caroline will be the featured speaker at next month's Center for Missouri Studies Fall Lecture. Additional guest: MARY ELLEN LOHMANN | Also, DR. SYED SHAH, MU Health Care, answers our questions about Parkinson's Disease: what causes it, what are the early warning signs and what can be done to treat the symptoms. Want to know more? The annual Parkinson's Disease Patient and Caregiver Conference is this Saturday in Columbia! (4:28) September 11, 2018

All ten of Thomas Hart Benton's WWII-themed paintings have finally come home, and the State Historical Society of Missouri is wasting no time putting them on display for everyone to see. JOAN STACK has brought three of them with her, and helps interpret the meaning behind each one. August 24, 2018

"The Eagle has landed" was first uttered on this day back in 1969. Almost 50 years later, JOAN STACK and the team at the State Historical Society of Missouri are paying tribute to that monumental event with a display featuring an original drawing by former St. Louis Post-Dispatch editorial cartoonist Tom Engelhardt! July 20, 2018

JOAN STACK says if you can't take a vacation to some of the more beautiful places around Missouri this summer, a visit to the State Historical Society of Missouri - and more specifically the exhibit featuring black and white photographs by Dr. Oliver Schuchard - is a nice alternative. June 28, 2018

JOAN STACk invites everyone to visit the exhibit: "Sketches of War: Editorial Cartoons Representing World War I by Daniel Fitzpatrick." Daniel was the editorial cartoonist for the St. Louis Post Dispatch from 1913-1958. These 'sketches' are on display now in The Elizabeth Rozier Gallery in Jefferson City. March 28, 2018

Today guest host James Mouser visits with JOAN STACK, Curator of Art Collections at the State Historical Society, about a Black History Month-themed exhibit currently on display in Ellis Library. "War, Peace and Black Progress" will immerse visitors in a variety of visual elements, including books and editorial cartoons, that depict African-Americans throughout history. See it now through the end of March! February 22, 2018

Today Paul Pepper visits with JOAN STACK, Curator of Art Collections at the State Historical Society of Missouri, about a new exhibit based on David Weiser's book, "Missouri Courthouses: Building Memories on the Square." This exhibit, featuring historical and current images from 36 of Missouri's 116 courthouses, is a collaboration with the Missouri Alliance for Conservation. January 19, 2018

Jim Gossage

Before he was a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, Lanford Wilson grew up in Southwest Missouri. On a recent episode of Thinking Out Loud, KBIA's Trevor Harris talked with Dr. David Crespy. The University Press recently published MU Department of Theater professor Crespy's collection of Wilson's early works. Crespy explained why Wilson donated his papers to MU Ellis Libraries' Special Collections. He also detailed what life was like for the young playwright Wilson and read excerpts from the new collection, Lanford Wilson: Early Stories, Sketches, and Poems.

Today Paul Pepper visits with JOAN STACK, Curator of Art Collections at the State Historical Society of Missouri, and MU student KATE REINERT, about a new exhibit featuring comic strips from the 1940s and 1950s. Kate has curated over 100 original strips (eight of which will be on display through March) that represent our culture, our way of life, during that time period. December 28, 2017

Today Paul Pepper visits with NICK FOSTER, Executive Director of Voluntary Action Center, about tomorrow's Warm Up Columbia event at the Armory in downtown Columbia. If your family qualifies for free coats, hats, scarves, blankets and more, now is your chance to collect. Watch for details! At [3:33] JOAN STACK and GREIG THOMPSON invite everyone to come visit the State Historical Society's latest exhibit dedicated to local artist and veteran, Robert Bussabarger. Bussabarger's work is a reflection of his time spent in the military during WWII. November 3, 2017

Today Paul Pepper visits with JOAN STACK, Curator of Art Collections at the State Historical Society of Missouri, about a new exhibit opening next week that features works by contemporary street photographer Jon Luvelli! Don't miss your chance to see six large photographs of Missourians that are "overlooked in society." October 13, 2017

Today Paul Pepper visits with JOAN STACK, Curator of Art Collections at the State Historical Society, about a special "curator's tour" of George Caleb Bingham's portrait collection. Joan has brought three examples of what you'll see on the tour tomorrow afternoon, two of which are notable Columbians - watch! August 25, 2017

The State Historical Society of Missouri

History nerds are gearing up for the 2019 opening of The Center for Missouri Studies, a new home for The State Historical Society of Missouri. On a recent episode of Thinking Out Loud, the society's Senior Associate Director Gerald Hirsch laid out plans for the four-floor, 76,000 square foot center, which will be built between Sixth and Seventh on Elm Street in downtown Columbia.

Center for Missouri Studies Breaks Ground

Apr 19, 2017
State Historical Society of Missouri

The State Historical Society of Missouri will break ground on its new home at the corner of Elm and Sixth streets.

After nearly eight years of planning, construction on the 75,000 square-foot facility will begin Wednesday. The State Historical Society expects completion of the building by 2019 with an estimated cost of $35 million.

Alexandra Waetjan is the Outreach Coordinator for the State Historical Society. She said this project will link the community.

Today Paul Pepper visits with JOAN STACK, Curator of Art Collections at the State Historical Society, about a special walk-through of the "From Boone to Black Elk: Native and Colonial Experiences in Contested "Middle Grounds" exhibit this Saturday inside the gallery at Ellis Library on the MU campus. Joan tells us what you can expect to see during this family-friendly event; plus, she's brought examples of the items you'll be able to touch and feel during the tour. January 26, 2017

Happy Thanksgiving! Today Paul Pepper visits with JOAN STACK, Curator of Art Collections at the State Historical Society of Missouri, about their latest exhibit titled, "From Boone to Black Elk." Joan tells us that half the gallery is devoted to original drawings by Native American artist Standing Bear, and she's brought a few of them with her to show and tell! November 24, 2016

Today Paul Pepper visits with JOAN STACK, Curator of Art Collections at The State Historical Society of Missouri, and MU student JOSEPH EGGERMAN, about a new exhibit called, 'From Boone to Black Elk,' that features the original oil painting of Daniel Boone by Chester Harding. Check it out September 22nd during the Artifact Museum and Gallery Crawl! September 14, 2016

Today Paul Pepper visits with NAT GRAHAM about Science on Tap CoMo, a once-a-month get-together hosted by MU grad students that aims to bridge the gap between science and the community...over a beer. Get details on this month's topic and more! At [4:46] GREIG THOMPSON, State Historical Society of Missouri, and guest-curator CAROL GROVE, talk about "Evolving Environments: The Landscape Architecture of Hare and Hare," an exhibit now open that features the work of father-and-son team Sidney J. and S. Herbert Hare. August 16, 2016

Today Paul Pepper visits with JOAN STACK, Curator of Art Collections at The State Historical Society of Missouri, about a new acquisition from local artist Brian Mahieu. Brian's painting, titled "Winter Sunset Looking North, Cottonwood Grove," captures a Missouri winter at it's bleakest; but as Joan says, "there's still a sense of the beauty of nature...those cycles of life." See it for yourself in the gallery now through September! July 21, 2016

Today Paul Pepper and JOAN STACK, Curator of Art Collections at The State Historical Society of Missouri, continue their discussion of 'Picturing Politics,' an exhibit on display now inside Ellis Library. Joan brought two famous prints by George Caleb Bingham, "Verdict of the People" and "County Election." Check it out! June 14, 2016

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