Forget not that the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the winds long to play with your hair. ~Kahlil Gibran

Saturday, March 19, 2011

City Museum in St Louis - Post One, Undersea World

One of my favorite places to visit in all my travels, is only about 4 hours away. I try to go at least every other year. The place is FULL of art, like you would never believe, unless you see it with your own eyes. I could post all the 200 some photos that I took last Tuesday, and there would still be tons for you to discover on your own trip. The thing I REALLY like about this place is that all the work is done with recycled materials from old buildings, factories, ships and bridges. I'm going to focus on one area of the museum per post. Otherwise this thing would be 100 screens long. This post will let you have a glimpse of the entry, and then we'll enter the undersea world area.

One of the first things you notice is the sea serpent wall surrounding the parking lot.

Then you look up and ask yourself how they put all that stuff on the roof.

Yes, that's a real bus. There's also a working ferris wheel up there. On top of a ten-story building. I like to go while the roof is closed for the season. Then I don't have to come up with an excuse to not ride a ferris wheel that practically hangs over the lip of a ten-story building. It's enough scare for me when they're on the ground.

But enough of the outside stuff- that's a later post. Let's go inside.

We'll start with the floor. The entire first floor is covered in mosaics, starting right after the ticket counter, and winding through all the areas on that floor. It goes from outdoor things like insects and flowers, then when you get to the undersea area, the theme turns to fish, mermaids, octopi, walruses, etc.. The art creates movement, so even if you are standing still, you get a sense of being in a wonderful world of life and water.

The main overall focus of the museum, other than the art is the tunnels. This ten story building is riddled with tunnels that kids and adults both find amazing. You might enter a whale's mouth (like in the picture above) on ground level, and pop up through a hole in the floor two stories up. See the round glass pieces in the floor between the fish? Those are windows that can be peeked through from a tunnel below.

Every inch of this room is swarming with water creatures.

The walls, floors, ceiling and ...even a real aquarium.

Everything in the room is covered in recycled glass and shells. A lot of the work has been done by art students.

The bubbles you see in the ceiling are windows from tunnels, too. I'm not kidding when I tell you that the place is riddled with tunnels. I let my kids and grandkids loose, and stand gaping at all the art. Well, and taking a lot of pictures too.

At the far end of the undersea area, just past the aquarium, you see that the terrain starts to change. The mosaic floor is starting to give way to a rougher texture. Rocks and dead trees dominate the landscape. You can see some of the overhead tunnels in this area.

just around the side of the aquarium? Well, it's my favorite area in this entire museum... but that's a story for another day.

Hmmm.... What's that you see there just around the side of the aquarium? Well, it's the entrance to my favorite area in this entire museum... but that's a story for another day.

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