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New SLUMA Exhibit, Bicentennial Book Chronicle SLU's 200 Years

Long before St. Louis had baseball, beer and the Gateway Arch, there was a Saint Louis University. Follow SLU's historic journey from 1818 to the present through the book and exhibit, "Always at the Frontier."


Celebrate 200 hundred years of SLU history with the "Always at the Frontier" exhibit at Saint Louis University Museum of Art  (SLUMA) opening March 2 and running through December.

In the early 1800s, the St. Louis was a river town stopping point at the edge of what many considered the western frontier. It was a growing hub for the business of the day. Goods of all kinds – from animal pelts to supplies and provisions to items to trade – could be found. It was also the beginning of a quest by the Society of Jesus that would bring higher education to St. Louis and the founding of the first university west of the Mississippi River in 1818.

Now, in 2018, SLU is celebrating with a look back at its 200-year history with “Always at the Frontier: Saint Louis University 1818-2018.”

The book breaks down the University's history — from its beginning on the Arch grounds in 1818 to the present day community — into six eras that are explored in-depth with vibrant archival photographs, illustrations and historical documents. 

Written by Dolores Byrnes, with John Padberg, S.J. and John Waide, "Always at the Frontier: Saint Louis University 1818-2018" is an immersive look at the 200 years that shaped SLU and the city of St. Louis. 

Click here to learn about the authors and view an excerpt from the book.

On Friday, March 2, SLU will unveil its Bicentennial exhibition, “Always at the Frontier,” at the Saint Louis University Museum of Art (SLUMA), 3663 Lindell Boulevard.

The evening, which includes a book signing with the author of SLU’s Bicentennial book, begins at 5 p.m. with comments from author Dolores Byrnes and remarks by University President Fred P. Pestello, Ph.D. The event concludes at 8 p.m.

The exhibit draws together all of the facets from Saint Louis University's 200 years of dynamic education featured in the book and will run until the end of December . The event is free and open to the public from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Wednesdays through Saturdays.

The book will be available for purchase at this opening reception.

For more information about the exhibit, contact Petruta Lipan at SLUMA at (314) 977-3571 or