Hours of Idleness-A Photographer's Journey in St. Louis

Moving to St. Louis

Posted in Uncategorized by Jason Gray on April 1, 2009


I spent this last weekend in St. Louis, which is to be my new home, come May 1st. From all perspectives, this will be a good move, as it will allow my wife and I to save money, revolve around a smaller nucleus, have more space, do more things, etc.

Nonetheless, this post is centered around the photographs that I took while doing other things, this weekend. It is image heavy, so be forewarned…St. Louis, the aged, urban center:



At the turn of the 20th Century, St. Louis was the fourth largest urban area in the United States, and one of only six U.S. cities to have a population of more than 1 million people. Beginning in the 1960’s, it suffered the same fate as most of the other rust-belt metropolises, and as its industry dwindled, so did its population. Today, only about 350,000 people live within the city limits.

What I love about St. Louis is its somber moments; times for reflection even within city limits. St. Louis was built for more than a million residents, but now holds only about a third of that; the result is decay, disjunct, and duration. But that is all changing. In my mind, as the art world turns its focus more so away from New York, and the U.S., regional art will gain in precedence, and St. Louis has a self-sustaining, albeit isolated, art culture. Check out the City Museum for an example. As a photographer, the city (older than Chicago) itself presents some wonderful dialog…



St. Louis is not devoid of academic offerings either; the St. Louis Art Museum, constructed for the 1904 World’s Fair, features an impressive collection of artwork, and it’s free to enter:






And the building and grounds have few rivals:





I even had the opportunity to meet with a local artist, my disgruntled sister, Emma:




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