Former St. Louis Cardinals catcher Ted Simmons is known to have an excellent eye to the plate. But it is his eye for art, along with that of his wife, fine art printer and publisher Maryanne Ellison Simmons, that will soon be on display at the Saint Louis Art Museum.
On the heels of Ted’s induction into the National Baseball Hall of Fame, the couple will share some of their collection of more than 800 works of contemporary art, dating from the 1960s to the present day, including political, social and artistic. historical moments. From June 26, more than 200 of them will be visible at SLAM as part of the seize the moment exposure, which marks the first presentation of the collection. SLAM acquired the coins in 2020 through a joint gift purchase agreement.
The exhibit features the work of dozens of artists, including Kiki Smith, Enrique Chagoya (whose “Language Border Detention” is pictured above) and St. Louis artist Tom Huck, whose work accounts for about 400 of the couple’s pieces. . Although the exhibition highlights prints, it also includes works in many other mediums.
“The visitor sees through the eyes of collectors,” explains curator Andrea L. Ferber. “We really curated the exhibition in response to what’s in the collection.”
Ferber and fellow curators Elizabeth Wyckoff and Clare Kobasa selected the pieces through countless conversations. They wanted to evoke Simmons’ baseball career, Kobasa says, while acknowledging the care the couple gave to the art and artists in their collection.
Most special exhibitions are scheduled two to three years before they open, but seize the moment was organized in just 18 months. Ferber says the process was sped up to bring the collection to the forefront and ride the wave of attention after Simmons was officially inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame and his number was retired by the Cardinals the year last.
“My favorite part has been the whole world of artists – some of whom I knew, some of whom I meet for the first time through this collection,” says Kobasa. She says the exhibition is not a culmination, but a first step in what is hopefully a “long and exciting” life for the Simmons collection.
Keep the conversation going
SLAM will host its Art Hill film series, featuring music, food and movies, starting in early July. The theme for the four-movie series, “Game On!” was inspired by seize the moment.
When men fought in World War II, women stepped in to fill many jobs, including those in sports. Sisters Dottie Hinson (Geena Davis) and Kit Keller (Lori Petty) find themselves at odds during their time in the All-American Girls Professional Baseball League.
In 1981, in Los Angeles, 11-year-old Monica Wright (Sanaa Lathan) moves in next to Quincy McCall (Omar Epps). Watch their love-hate relationship and passion for the game grow as they tackle life’s obstacles.
Jess (Parminder Nagra) and Jules (Keira Knightley) dream of playing professional football like their hero, David Beckham. Through relationship drama and pressure from Jess’s traditional Indian parents, the girls do their best to play the sport they love.
This film, selected by public vote, follows newcomer to town Scotty Smalls (Tom Guiry) as he learns about friendship, life and baseball from a team of neighborhood boys.