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Flores Mexicanas at Missouri History Museum
"Flores Mexicanas" by Alfredo Ramos Martinez as seen on display in the Missouri History Museum's latest exhibit, "Flores Mexicanas: A Lindbergh Love Story" open through Sept. 2, 2019. Admission is free. Image courtesy Missouri History Museum

ST. LOUIS, MO, (, June 6, 2019 - The Missouri Historical Society houses and cares for one of the largest collections of Charles Lindbergh artifacts in the world. Drawing from this collection the Museum developed a new 2,000-square-foot special exhibit Flores Mexicanas: A Lindbergh Love Story.

The focal point of the exhibit is the 9-by-12-foot Flores Mexicanas painting by renowned Mexican artist Alfredo Ramos Martinez. The location of this masterpiece has long been unknown to art scholars. The exhibit marks the first time the painting has been publicly displayed in a half century. In addition to Flores Mexicanas, hundreds of photographs, historic footage, and 20 other Lindbergh artifacts offer a fresh perspective to a familiar name. Flores Mexicanas: A Lindbergh Love Story soars beyond the famed aviator's historic flight and reveals the connection between a poet, a pilot, a president and a painter that altered the course of aviation history and left a lasting legacy on U.S. - Mexico relations.

In 1929 Mexican president Emilio Portes Gil gave the Lindberghs the Martinez masterpiece as a wedding gift. Mexico was significant to the Lindberghs as the place where their love story began. For the Mexican government, the gift was a chance to impress the daughter and son-in-law of the United States' respected ambassador to Mexico, Dwight Morrow - Anne's father.

Martinez started working on Flores Mexicanas long before anyone had heard of Charles or Anne Lindbergh. He spent about 15 years working on the piece before it was completed and purchased by president Emilio Portes Gil. Flores Mexicanas was Martinez's last work completed in Mexico before he moved to Los Angeles in 1929 and one of his final paintings with strong European influence before he took up the modernist style for which he has become known and loved.

Charles Lindbergh later entrusted Flores Mexicanas and many of his other gifts and awards to the care of the Missouri Historical Society. Safely stored at the Missouri Historical Society's Library and Research Center for decades, many art scholars were unaware of Flores Mexicanas location.

Prior to filling its starring role in Flores Mexicanas: A Lindbergh Love Story the painting and its ornate hand-carved wooden frame were in need of conservation so it could be displayed in its near original splendor and to ensure it could hang safely in the gallery. The Missouri Historical Society worked with specialists at the Midwest Art Conservation Center in Minneapolis on the conservation process, which was generously funded by the Bank of America Art Conservation Project and the Ed & H. Pillsbury Foundation.

Collecting for 150 years, the Missouri Historical Society is widely considered to have the largest collections of several significant national figures including aviator Charles Lindbergh. In addition to Flores Mexicanas (the largest framed painting in the collections of the Missouri Historical Society), the exhibit features 20 other artifacts belonging to the first couple of the skies including:

  • Flight jackets worn by Anne and Charles Lindbergh.
  • The Lindbergh's floor globe, which was a wedding present from the family that owned Ryan Airlines, the San Diego based company that built the Spirit of St. Louis. Visitors can see lines on the globe, which were drawn by Charles Lindbergh to mark the routes that he and Anne traveled together from 1929 to 1935.
  • Both Charles and Anne's prestigious Hubbard medals. Charles received the medal for his 1927 flight across the Atlantic. A skilled pilot in her own right, Anne was the first woman to receive the Hubbard medal for flying more than 40,000 miles.
Flores Mexicanas: A Lindbergh Love Story is open June 1, 2019, through Sept. 2, 2019, at the Missouri History Museum. Admission is free. The exhibit is presented in both English and Spanish, and organized by the Missouri History Museum in collaboration with the University of Missouri - St. Louis's graduate program in Museums, Heritage, and Public History.

Missouri History Museum
Missouri History Museum in Forest Park

Spirit of St. Louis at the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park
Replica of Charles A. Lindbergh's plane, Spirit of St. Louis, hangs in MacDermott Grand Hall at the Missouri History Museum
The Missouri History Museum (Jefferson Memorial Building) in Forest Park completed a major building expansion and renovation with the opening of the Emerson Center. The 92,000-square-foot Center, designed by Hellmuth, Obata & Kassabaum, provides the public with 24,000 square feet of additional exhibition space in four galleries, the Lee Auditorium with 347 seats, Bixby's Restaurant overlooking Forest Park, four fully equipped classrooms and a resource center, and the expansive Louisiana Purchase gift shop.

The Missouri Historical Society was established in 1866 to rescue "from oblivion the early history of the city and the state." In 1913, it moved into the newly constructed Jefferson Memorial Building. The Memorial Building stands on the site of the main entrance to the Louisiana Purchase Exposition, more commonly known as the 1904 World's Fair. It was built with the proceeds of the Fair in memory of Thomas Jefferson.

Today, the Missouri History Museum houses a variety of exhibits and educational resources including the permanent exhibition, Seeking St. Louis and the current Many Voices: Reflecting on American Indian Objects. The History Museum and Emerson Center are open daily from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (8:00 p.m. each Tuesday). Admission is free unless noted.

The Missouri History Museum Library and Research Center, located at 225 South Skinker in the former United Hebrew Synagogue, was renovated and opened in 1991. It houses a research library open to the public with a comprehensive collection focusing on the history of the St. Louis region, the state of Missouri and the American West. Hours are Tuesday through Saturday, 10:00 a.m. to 5 p.m. Admission is free. For more information, call 314-746-4599.
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