It’s Easier to Ask for Forgiveness than Permission: The Story of City Museum

Summit: syd24

Length: 26:07

What is this place? Who came up with it? More importantly, how do you get away with it? Questions heard almost daily at City Museum. By looking at the creator Bob Cassilly, past projects and future projects, those questions will try to be answered.

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This talk is presented by

Rick Erwin (USA) - Creative Director, City Museum, St. Louis - 50 Coolest Places in the World - TIME

"Less a museum than a bizarre fantasy world created by artists and engineers." Visit USA

50 Coolest Places in the World - TIME for Kids

Rick Erwin is the Creative Director of City Museum in St. Louis, Missouri (USA). The Museum is a 600,000 square foot attraction featuring interactive sculptures, climbers, slides, and architectural exhibits made out of repurposed found objects and historic artifacts. The Museum is the brainchild of internationally acclaimed artist Bob Cassilly, who opened the Museum in 1997 and passed away in 201. Prior to taking over the Creative Director role, Rick was the Executive Director for 15 years and led the museum to an annual attendance of more than 800,000. Following Cassilly's passing, the museum continued to thrive under Rick’s leadership and is consistently ranked as a must-see attraction nationally and internationally. In 2019, City Museum was named one of the Top 50 Greatest Places in the World for Kids by TIME Magazine and continually is listed in the top 10 Best Immersive Art Experience and Best Children’s Museum. City Museum was purchased in 2019 by Premier Parks and continues to thrive under their ownership.

Rick received his undergraduate degree in Art History and Studio Art from Westminster College in Fulton, Missouri and his Master of Arts in Arts Administration and Policy from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago.

About the City Museum

Occupying the vast expanse of the former International Shoe building, this colossal 600,000 square-foot space offers visitors an experience more akin to an adult-sized playground.

Encouraging exploration and interaction, the museum invites guests to climb, play, and immerse themselves in a plethora of exhibits. These include repurposed chimneys, rescued bridges, a miniature train village dubbed "Tiny Train Town," a whimsical circus-themed section, captivating caves, and the pièce de résistance – MonstroCity. This standout exhibit boasts a castle turret, an expansive ball pit for grown-ups, and two suspended jets, all suspended high above the ground.

Conceived by visionary artist Bob Cassilly, the museum serves a dual purpose beyond mere entertainment. Cassilly and his team of 20 artists constructed the City Museum using reclaimed materials sourced from St. Louis, maintaining an ongoing display of architectural remnants. Among the must-see attractions is the ten-story spiral slide that spirals from the rooftop down to the entrance of the enchanted cave, offering an exhilarating journey through this extraordinary space.