History of the St. Louis Artists’ Guild


Since 1886, the St. Louis Artists’ Guild has been the regional center for artists and people who love art. Today the Artists’ Guild is an extraordinary organization with almost 700 members whose mission remains: “To be a resource and advocate for creative expression, serving the Midwest as a center that exhibits, supports, and promotes the visual arts.”

The history of the Artists’ Guild is the history of art in St. Louis. For over a century, most professional artists in St. Louis achieved their first recognition through its competitive exhibitions. 

The Artists’ Guild has always been a significant contributor to the cultural environment of the greater St. Louis area. In 1995, its move to a beautifully restored 1920’s mansion in the heart of Oak Knoll Park in Clayton provided the perfect place to expand programs, classes, and exhibits.

The Artists’ Guild holds primarily local and regional competitions with cash awards. It also hosts national exhibits and participates in collaborative and exchange exhibits with other art organizations. And, because of the limited opportunity for young artists to compete and exhibit work in a professional gallery, the Artists’ Guild holds the annual Young Artists’ Showcase for high school students with cash awards and scholarships. In addition, special exhibitions of the artwork of elementary school children and children and youth with special needs are held monthly at the Guild’s second floor Monsanto Children’s Gallery.

As a well-established network for all the artists in the metropolitan area, the Artists’ Guild is a communication center where artists can learn, share ideas, and test their talents among peers and professionals.