International Photography Hall of Fame Celebrates St. Louis’ Sister City in China

 In Culture, Feature

A unique program connecting St. Louis to China is being celebrated via photography at The International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum (IPHF). “40th Anniversary: Nanjing-St. Louis Sister City: Retrospective,” a collection of works depicting myriad aspects of Nanjing as seen through the lenses of a variety of Chinese photographers, opened on April 27 and will run through Saturday, July 6.

In 1979, St. Louis was the first U.S. city to adopt a formal relationship with a Chinese sister city. The IPHF exhibit is the culmination of 40 years of cultural exchange between the two cities and boasts more than 90 images of Nanjing.

International Photography Hall of Fame Celebrates St. Louis' Sister City in China

“[The works on display] are of the old and new China, of everything from the growth and development of the downtown to the port to the natural world of mountains and rivers there,” said Patty Wente, CEO and president of IMHF.

To round out the exhibit, IPHF will also host a lecture by Joel Glassman on Saturday, June 29, from 1:30 to 2:30 p.m. Glassman has been involved in the sister-city relationship between St. Louis and Nanjing since its inception and will offer insight into various aspects of China as viewed through this unique partnership.

Wente said the response to the photography exhibit so far has been “phenomenal,” adding the World Trade Center has helped boost communication about the exhibit. “I think many people are interested in a look at a different country,” she said.

Wente said the sister-city relationship is also being commemorated later this year with a permanent art installation. A donor has commissioned sculptor Harry Weber, known for his bronze sculptures of athletes and other cultural figures, to create a sculpture of Cardinals pitcher Adam Wainwright in mid-pitch—which will be installed in Nanjing—and a second sculpture of a Chinese ballplayer readying to hit the ball, which will reside outside Busch Stadium.

“40th Anniversary: Nanjing-St. Louis Sister City: Retrospective” is funded by the Nanjing Archive Bureau in association with the Nanjing Foreign Affairs Office and the Sister City Program. The exhibit can be viewed Wednesday through Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the IPHF, 3415 Olive St., in the Grand Center Arts District. Admission is $10 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, and free for IPHF members and children under 5.

Images courtesy of the Nanjing Archive Bureau.

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