Courtesy of the Herrera family
The Charles Moore Stair
By Sarah Herrera
To celebrate 250 years of St. Louis, each member of the Missouri Life team has written about one of their favorite St. Louis memories.
We were halfway through a 13-hour drive the day after Christmas 1999–one driver with three girls. Mom’s idea of stretching our legs and taking a break from the car was the St. Louis Art Museum. The pleasant docent applauded mom for bringing children to the museum, touting the importance of art and lack of exposure many children have. My road-weary mother thanked her, too tired to explain her background in and enthusiasm for fine arts, and we proceeded to explore the museum.
Mom snapped pictures of my older sister leaning against the fountain and my younger sister mimicking Degas’s ballerina statue. We photographed her next to Monet’s lilies (without flash, of course).
As we made our way through the maze of galleries searching for the main exit, we came across the stair designed Charles Moore. My sisters and I were instantly intrigued with the mirrors. I was wearing a favorite shirt with different stripes on each sleeve. We laughed at the alternating sleeves in the infinite reflections.
The restorative power of art had revived my mom with an idea: let’s each strike a pose as if we are exploring the museum or contemplating the architecture, "Abbey Road" style.
There was one exposure remaining on mom’s 35mm camera, so we had to plan it just right with our staging. I remember the event felt bold and daring–thinking the image might or might not come out with the flash infinitely bouncing off the mirrors. After careful staging, the photograph was taken and we found the exit. We returned to the car and continued our drive.
When the film was developed, we discovered our quirky staged photo from the mirrored stair turned out just fine. Somewhere back home there is still a mouse pad and coffee cup of that image. After all, that’s what you did with a favorite photo in the late '90s.
Read more of our St. Louis memories here. Please share your memories with us on Facebook, in our comments sections, or by emailing email@example.com. Check out our February 2014 issue for a massive story on St. Louis's 250 years, featuring FEAST Magazine Publisher and Editor Catherine Neville, radio personality Charlie Brennan, and more.