Take me out to the gallery: Which World Series city has the better art scene?
Fans in St. Louis and Boston showed their team spirit as the Cardinals and the Red Sox fought for the right to be named World Series champions during the past week -- and orchestral musicians were no exception. To show their support for their beloved baseball teams, the Boston Symphony Orchestra and the St. Louis Symphony Orchestra donned their cities' respective MLB jerseys and musically slugged it out in a video recently posted on YouTube. In the clip, each orchestra trash talks the other -- highlighting why they think their team is best -- and showed off their melodious chops by playing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" and "Anything You Can Do."
And while the Red Sox finished off the Cards at Fenway last week, when it comes to the art and music scenes in St. Louis and Boston, the jury's still out on which city reigns supreme. With that in mind, let's take a look at what each has to offer.
It's not surprising that a city so rich in history has a robust visual and performance art scene. The following are just a sampling of attractions in Boston for the artistically inclined:
- American Repertory Theater: Located at Harvard University, the American Repertory Theater, or A.R.T., has been presenting diverse events for the last 32 years. Patrons can enjoy plays and musical theater productions, as well as representations of classical texts. In recent years, A.R.T. has won Tony Awards for their productions of "Porgyand Bess" and "Pippin."
- The Boston Conservatory: The Boston Conservatory -- a prestigious school that trains students in the performing arts through its music, theater and dance programs -- puts on regular performances for the community, including shows by The Boston Conservatory Wind Ensemble, The Boston Conservatory Hemenway Strings and The Boston Conservatory Saxophone Ensemble. In addition, the facility also puts on productions that showcase the talents of student dancers and actors.
- deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum: With 30 acres of land to roam around on, deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum weds the beauty of the outdoors with original sculpture installations. In addition, the park offers talks with artists and curators, snowshoe and bird tours, yoga classes and other events.
- Harvard Art Museums: Harvard may be known for establishing modern business education, but the university also has a longstanding contribution to the arts. Currently undergoing major renovations (which includes putting all three of its member museums under one roof), Harvard Art Museums got its start in 1895 and has collections from multiple time periods and cultures, including medieval, Asian, Germanic, Islamic and Indian.
With its unique Midwestern flair, St. Louis' art scene isn't a slouch either. Among the attractions the city has to offer are:
- The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts: The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts organizes exhibits that include unique artwork and architectural pieces. In addition, the Foundation also presents programming in literary, visual and performing arts.
- The American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog: If you think artwork that features man's best friend is limited to "Dogs Playing Poker," think again. The American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog fills its 14,000 square foot space with a myriad of artwork dedicated to pooches, including watercolors, drawings, paintings, porcelain figurines, sculptures and bronzes. In addition, museum visitors can buy gifts for their own canine pals, including jeweled dog dishes and tapestry pillows.
- Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis: If you want to find out what's hot in the art world of St. Louis at any given time, the Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis is the place to find it. The museum features pieces from a diverse group of artists, as well as culinary arts programs, workshops taught by artists, film screenings and musical performances.
- Saint Louis Art Museum: Since 1879, the Saint Louis Art Museum has been dedicated to showing high-quality artwork that represents different cultures and historical periods. In addition to regular exhibitions, the museum offers a number of community programs for children and adults alike. As an added perk, admission to the museum is free and featured exhibits are free on Fridays.
- St. Louis Artists' Guild: The St. Louis Artists' Guild is a center for artists who want to advance creative expression in the community. The Guild features exhibitions, as well as educational programs for the city's art lovers. Classes and workshops range from figure drawing to plein air painting to relief printing. (If you're interested in pursuing a formal college education in the city, check out our compilation of art schools in St. Louis.)
Who's the winner?
When it comes to the arts, there's certainly no shortage of unique attractions in each city. So who comes out on top? We'll let you make the final call, but thankfully -- unlike the sport of baseball -- you can always root for both sides without the fear of being ostracized.
The Los Angeles Times, "World Series inspires orchestral rivalry between Boston, St. Louis," David Ng, October 23, 2013, http://www.latimes.com/entertainment/arts/culture/la-et-cm-world-series-boston-st-louis-20131023,0,2147398.story#axzz2ielBZdLd
The New York Times, "Boston and St. Louis Orchestra Musicians Play Up the World Series," Allan Kozinn, October 23, 2013, http://artsbeat.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/10/23/boston-and-st-louis-orchestra-musicians-play-up-the-world-series/?_r=0
St. Louis Convention & Visitors Commission, http://explorestlouis.com/
Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, http://www.bostonusa.com/
American Repertory Theater, http://americanrepertorytheater.org/
The Boston Conservatory, http://www.bostonconservatory.edu/
deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum, http://www.decordova.org/
The Pulitzer Foundation for the Arts, http://www.pulitzerarts.org/
The American Kennel Club Museum of the Dog, http://www.museumofthedog.org/
Contemporary Art Museum St. Louis, http://www.camstl.org/
Saint Louis Art Museum, http://www.slam.org/
St. Louis Artists' Guild, http://www.stlouisartistsguild.org/
About the Author