Monday, August 19, 2013

The Transformed Saint Louis Art Museum and Yoko Ono's Wish Tree

Last week some friends and I visited the recently renovated Saint Louis Art Museum. I hadn't been to the museum in a few years, so I was looking forward to the trip.

For me, the apotheosis of St. Louis (Charles Niehaus, 1903) standing in front of the museum symbolizes St. Louis, even more than the Gateway Arch.

As a child I recall taking field trips to the museum and being amazed at the statue of St. Louis mounted on his horse and holding a huge sword.

The day of my recent visit was unseasonably mild for mid-August. Our group from St. Charles arrived early and got a primo parking place before meeting up with the North County, South County, and Illinois ladies. We were in the first tour group, which began at 10:30 a.m. Barbara, our docent, did an excellent job pointing out noteworthy pieces in the renovated section of the museum, along with some of her favorites.

One of the highlights of the tour was our walk-around outside the museum, with a visit to Goldsworthy's Stone Sea and Yoko Ono's Wish Tree for St. Louis.

The St. Louis Wish Tree is actually three Japanese maples. The photo on the left explains the significance of the wish tree to Yoko Ono.

After hearing about the project, we were invited to write our wishes on a tag and tie them to one of the trees.  

As I searched for just the right spot to tie my tag to a branch, I couldn't help reading a few wishes nearby.

Several included good health and world peace. One person wanted a Samsung Galaxy.

My sister Kathleen spotted a request for a pink bunny. Hmmm. Wonder if that one will come true.

After our guided tour, we separated and did a self-tour before lunch. With limited time I didn't get to take in all of the amazing artwork, but I did get to view several major pieces.

Although I didn't add this to the Japanese maple trees, one of my wishes is to return to the Saint Louis Art Museum soon.

To learn more about the Saint Louis Art Museum and Yoko Ono's Wish Tree, visit their website.


  1. I haven't been there in a year or so, and am anxious to see one of my favorite pieces--"Chuck"--which is a huge self-portrait that looks so realistic, it seems to be a photo instead of a painting. (It was so huge, it wasn't out all the time.)

    After reading your post, I will have to check out the Wish Tree the next time I go...

    Thanks, Donna.

  2. I saw Chuck and couldn't believe it was a painting and not a photo.

  3. Ladies! Do your husbands know that you are seeing Chuck at the library?

  4. I so wish I were closer and could go more often. My last visit was couple of years ago...loved it!

  5. Donna:
    I bet your wishes included much success for your grandchildren! :) Did you know they have classes there for kids like Katie's age? I have yet to sign her up for one, as I wasn't sure how it would go, but wondering if you or any of your readers have ever done this? I love the art museum, too. :)

    1. Yep. Actually it was that my grandchildren will have a joyful life.

  6. I think Saturday Writers should have a writing marathon there! We could tour together and then split up to write near our favorite pieces. Have lunch and read to each other. Everybody in? I suppose a Saturday morning would be best? How about Sept 14th or 21st? Donna, do you think the museum lends itself to such a venture?

  7. Interesting suggestion. Lots of inspiration for writers, although I can't make it on the 14th

  8. I'd never heard of the wish tree before, Donna.

    I love museums, big and small. The one I visited most recently is in Casper, Wyoming. It's The National Historic Trails Interpretive Center. A great place to learn everything you ever wanted to know about the westward migration.

  9. I've never been a Yoko Ono fan, but this is a cool project and one I'm glad to know about. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Hi Lisa,
      You are welcome. It was quite impressive.

  10. Love the project, and can't wait to see it!

  11. I love the art museum. Your post made me want to go again!

    Critter Alley


Mysteries of the Ozarks, Volume V - Interviews with Lonnie Whitaker and Dr. Barri Bumgarner

Here is the second installment of interviews with contributors who have stories in Mysteries of the Ozarks, Volume V , from Ozark Writers, I...