Mary Engelbreit Christmas Experience to open

The new St. Louis Children’s Illustrated Art Museum, one of a few museums in the country to showcase the original artwork in children’s books, will bring the Mary Engelbreit Christmas Experience to ArtSpace at Crestwood Court, Watson and Sappington roads.

The exhibit will feature a walk-through experience of the children’s holiday classic “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” by Clement Clarke Moore, illustrated by St. Louis native and internationally known artist Mary Engelbreit.

“Families can experience this classic as they walk through 16 giant pages from the book, each beautifully illustrated by Mary Engelbreit,” Jeanne Johnston, curator of the museum, stated in a news release. “Each page will be backlit and the exhibit will be in a darkened space, twinkling with holiday lights. It will be an extraordinary opportunity to experience the art of Mary Engelbreit in an entirely new way.”

The exhibit is free and open to the public, although donations to support the non-profit museum are welcomed.

The Mary Engelbreit Christmas Experience will open Friday, Nov. 27.

Schools and other children’s organizations may schedule private tours through the exhibit by calling (314) 941-2097.

A Mary Engelbreit holiday store will be within the Children’s Illustrated Art Museum, featuring copies of “‘Twas the Night Before Christmas” and other unique holiday items, including ornaments and greeting cards.

“This will be the only holiday shop of its kind in the country,” Johnston stated.

Children also will have an opportunity to have their pictures taken in a holiday sleigh against a backdrop of Mary Engelbreit art.

“I think everyone grew up with this classic Christmas tale,” Johnston stated. “We hope everyone will include us in their holiday plans to see this exhibit, as well as the many other children’s artist exhibits in the museum.

“While here, visitors also can enjoy the artwork and experiences provided by the more than 300 local artists who work out of ArtSpace.”

The St. Louis Children’s Illustrated Art Museum offers tours and art classes for children, schools and scouting groups. It is free and open to the public.

Current hours of operation are 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sun-days and 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays. The museum is on the west end of the mall.