If you are near the old Gulf, Mobile & Ohio Depot in Sparta, Illinois, the Misselhorn Art Gallery is an experience that provides a glimpse into the life of the artist and Sparta history. With over 2,000 of genuine works by the late Roscoe Misselhorn, the art gallery is filled with historical sketches of Missouri and Illinois locations.
Roscoe Misselhorn was a renowned Illinois cartoonist whose dream of being an artist began in the third grade. Throughout his school years, he provided artwork for his school and friends until he dropped out to work at a local Sparta store. In time, he was encouraged by his boss to pick up his talent again by traveling to Chicago and enrolling in the Art Institute. However, he was rejected due to dropping out of high school years prior. Disheartened, he eventually returned to his old hometown and job.
With the encouragement from his wife Ruth Tritt, school teacher, Misselhorn attended St. Louis School of Fine Arts, now Washington University, for 3 years where he took commercial art, advertising, and cartooning classes. Becoming a syndicated political cartoonist for the Meyer-Both company out of Chicago that would appear in over 3000 papers nationwide, Misselhorn continued this work for 10 years where it also paid for his art education along the way.
Misselhorn’s other endeavors include teaching, painting, and drawing for Southern Illinois University-Carbondale, designing several murals for the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis and the City Hall of Sparta, and his personal work is in many public and private collections. Not only does his work span the St. Louis and Southern Illinois area, but also places like New Orleans, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. Roscoe passed away in the fall of 1997 but not without leaving his legacy behind for others to know and follow.
The gallery is open Saturday and Sunday 1-5 pm. You can call (618) 443-3577 for more information and special tours or visit their website at http://www.misselhorngallery.com/. Be sure to support the gallery by taking home various gifts by Misselhorn and other local artists.