Saturday, March 7, 2015

Laumeier Docents lead the charge

Laumeier Docents (l to r) – Clara Coleman (Curator of Interpretation), Jahn Epstein, Jody Bailey, Janet Peterson,  Ferda Omurtag,  Wes Morgan,  Tim Reichman,  Mary Hanson,  Mary Drury, June Shaw, Sheila Hoffmeister, Pat Leigh, Barb Flunker, Nancy Linhares,  Mary Brauch, Sari Frieden,  Ann Bauer,  Kate Haggans. Photo © Wes Morgan 

The mission at Laumeier is to be a living laboratory where artists and audiences explore the relationship between contemporary art and the natural environment. Docents at the 105 acre museum – county park partnership are determined to deliver on this promise every day. There is a lot with which to work. This jewel, tucked away in the Sunset Hills suburb of St. Louis, has a committed docent crew who are enthusiastically engaged in nearly every aspect of this enterprise.

300,000 visitors come to this remarkable place annually. They come to be a part of scheduled tours. Many come again and again to enjoy the atmosphere. Residents of the Saint Louis region can take advantage of a range of activities: from Art Camp at Laumeier to walking the family dog and breathing some fresh air. The annual Art Fair, hosted on Mother’s Day weekend, attracts 15,000 to view the work of 150 artist-exhibitors who travel to display and sell their work. Docents are in the front lines and behind the scenes in all cases.

In our community, champions of art and culture actively contribute generously to Laumeier Sculpture Park’s legacy. Fundraisers in the Fall and Spring are part of the social calendar but accessible. On any give weekday, you might encounter groups of school children. They arrive in busloads. There is something here for kids of all ages. Open spaces, trails hidden away, a fully renovated estate house (originally built in 1917) and a new fine arts building (The Adam Aronson Fine Arts Center). Docent co-chairs are ex-officio members of the board of this nationally accredited Museum.   

On average 70 monumental works are on display. Some favorites are works by Tony Tasset, Richard Hunt, Mark di Suvero, Sol Lewitt, Dan Graham, Robert Chambers, Jackie Ferrara, Sam Durant, Geoffrey Krawczyk, Robert Lobe, Beverly Pepper, Ernest Trova, Alexander Liberman, Steve Tobin, Anthony Caro, Niki de Saint Phalle, Judith Shea, Donald Lipski and Donald Judd. Docent tours can be tailored by topic, artist or geared toward lesson plans.   

The park is family friendly but it is much more than a successful public space. Make plans to visit us as we approach of 40th anniversary in 2016. A recent $10 million capital campaign which has made construction and renovation possible assures a quality experience for new visitors and plenty of delightful surprises for residents of the region. Docents are poised to help you orchestrate an ideal visit to Laumeier Sculpture Park.

Like docents everywhere, Laumeier Docents share a passion for the museum for which they have pledged allegiance. Like docents everywhere, they are good at communicating information tempered with the ability to facilitate further learning. Above and beyond that, the crew at Laumeier is committed to ongoing enrichment while adding value to the aforementioned mission to be a living laboratory

Wesley A Morgan ( is co-chair of the Laumeier Sculpture Park docents.  Planning a trip to the St. Louis area? Arrange a tour led by trained Laumeier docents by calling 314-615-5267 in advance to reserve space for your group. For additional information visit