Thomas Struth: Nature & Politics
Thomas Struth: Nature & Politics
November 5—January 21, 2018
Main Exhibition Galleries, East Building
$12 adults, $10 seniors and students, and $6 children ages 6 to 12, Free for members

Thomas Struth: Nature & Politics is a photographic exploration of cutting-edge industrial and scientific research spaces. In over 35 works created within the past decade, the celebrated German artist Thomas Struth ambitiously takes technology and engineering as his overarching subject. With vivid color and monumental scale, he investigates the fascinating complexities of sites where knowledge, ambition, and imagination are advanced.

The featured works are drawn from the artist's visits to Europe, America, Asia, and the Middle East. Struth takes viewers into spaces normally kept from public view, such as aeronautical centers, robotics laboratories, and nuclear fusion facilities, examining humanity's attempts to understand and harness forces of nature, often at great cost of resources.

Nature & Politics intersperses Struth's technological subjects with other recent work, including images of the fantasy environments of Disneyland and the politically contested landscape of Israel and the Israeli-occupied West Bank. This poses intriguing questions about the relationship between nature and humanity in our increasingly fabricated world, as well as drawing attention to the financial and political ambition that underscores the massive technological endeavors of our present day.

Thomas Struth: Nature & Politics is co-organized by the Museum Folkwang, Essen; Martin-Gropius-Bau, Berlin; and the High Museum of Art, Atlanta, in collaboration with the Saint Louis Art Museum. The St. Louis presentation is supported by a grant from the Robert Mapplethorpe Foundation. Financial assistance has been provided by the Missouri Arts Council, a state agency. The project is supported in part by an award from the National Endowment for the Arts. The exhibition is curated for St. Louis by Eric Lutz, associate curator of prints, drawings, and photographs.

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Struth - Hot Rolling Mill

Thomas Struth, German, born 1954; Aquarium, Atlanta, Georgia 2013; chromogenic print; image: 84 × 142 7/8 inches; High Museum of Art, purchase with funds from the Donald and Marilyn Keough Family, the Hagedorn Family, Lucinda W. Bunnen for the Bunnen Collection and through prior acquisitions, 2014.23 © Thomas Struth
  • Free for Members
  • $12 for adults
  • $10 for seniors and students
  • $6 for children ages 6 to 12
  • Free for children 5 and under
  • Free on Fridays

Advance tickets are not required, but are strongly recommended for best availability, especially on Fridays when tickets are free. Tickets cannot be obtained by calling the Museum directly. Tickets are only available in person at the Museum's Information Centers, online through MetroTix, or by phone calling MetroTix at 314.534.1111. Tickets purchased or reserved through MetroTix incur a service charge; the service charge is waived for tickets reserved at the Museum. Advance tickets for Fridays are limited to 6 tickets per person. All tickets, including tickets for Free Fridays, are issued for a specific date and time

Ask a Docent

Museum docents will be available to answer your Thomas Struth: Nature & Politics questions from 1:15 pm to 2:15 pm on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays November 8 through January 20. Exhibition admission required.

Group Tours

Guided tours of the exhibition for 10 or more participants are available and must be scheduled online in advance. Requests are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Please allow at least four weeks advance notice. Group tours are not available on Fridays. Book your tour here.

The last entry to Thomas Struth: Nature & Politics is one hour before the Museum closes.


After visiting the Thomas Struth: Nature & Politics stop by either Museum Shop location and explore merchandise inspired by the exhibition. Members save 10 percent!


Visitor parking is available in the two lots located on the north side of Fine Arts Drive or in the paid underground garage. Accessible parking is available in the public lots and in the parking garage. Accessible entrances and drop-off areas are located directly in front of the East Building and in the parking garage. Members receive up to a $10 discount on garage parking.


All areas of the Museum are accessible. Complimentary wheelchairs are available at the Information Centers.

Large print interpretive materials for Thomas Struth: Nature & Politics are available at our Taylor Hall Information Center. Due to copyright regulations, they are not available online.
Struth - Mountain, Anaheim
Thomas Struth, German, born 1954; Mountain, Anaheim 2013; chromogenic print; 83 1/2 × 130 7/8 inches; Courtesy of the artist © Thomas Struth
Struth - Golems Playground
Thomas Struth, German, born 1954; Golems Playground, Georgia Tech, Atlanta 2013; chromogenic print; 92 1/2 × 129 1/8 inches; Courtesy of the artist © Thomas Struth
Struth - Stellerator Wendelstein
Thomas Struth, German, born 1954; Stellarator Wendelstein 7-X Detail, Max Planck IPP, Greifswald 2009; chromogenic print; 64 1/4 × 83 5/8 inches; High Museum of Art, purchase with funds from the H. B. and Doris Massey Charitable Trust, 2010.241 © Thomas Struth
Struth - Hot Rolling Mill

Thomas Struth, German, born 1954; Hot Rolling Mill, Thyssenkrupp Steel, Duisburg 2010; chromogenic print; 71 1/4 × 83 1/2 inches; Courtesy of the artist © Thomas Struth
Struth - Al-Ram Quarry
Thomas Struth, German, born 1954; Al-Ram Quarry, Kafr 'Aqab 2011; archival pigment image: 52 7/8 × 65 3/4 inches; Courtesy of the artist © Thomas Struth
All events in The Farrell Auditorium, including free events, are ticketed.
Tickets to the exhibition and related programs may be purchased or reserved in person at the Museum's Information Centers or through MetroTix at or 314.534.1111. All tickets purchased or reserved through MetroTix incur a service charge; the service charge is waived for tickets purchased or reserved at the Museum. Same day tickets, if available, can be obtained on-site only.

Opening Lecture
Thomas Struth and the Art of Technology

Eric Lutz, associate curator of prints, drawings, and photographs
Friday, November 3, 11 am
The Farrell Auditorium, Free

Learn more about Thomas Struth: Nature & Politics from Eric Lutz, associate curator of prints, drawings, and photographs, at our free opening lecture.
Get Tickets

Conversation with the Artist: Thomas Struth

Sunday, November 5, 2 pm
The Farrell Auditorium
Thomas Struth, photographer
$20/$15 Members. Purchase tickets
Internationally celebrated photographer Thomas Struth will take part in a cross-disciplinary panel to discuss his images of technological frontiers on view in Nature & Politics. The panelists will bring different perspectives on technology to bear on the work, engaging with broader issues raised at the intersection of art, science, and culture. Panelists include:
  • Thomas Struth
  • Eric Lutz
    Associate Curator of Prints, Drawings and Photographs
    Saint Louis Art Museum
  • Talia Dan-Cohen
    Assistant Professor, Sociocultural Anthropology, Washington University in St. Louis
  • James Beacham
    Post-doctoral researcher, The Ohio State University
    ATLAS Experiment at CERN

Thomas Struth in Context

Wednesdays, November 15, 29, and December 6, 10:30 am-noon
Education Center
$50/$40 Members. Purchase tickets
This multiple session class takes an in-depth look at the work of photographer Thomas Struth. The class will investigate the sites of technology featured in Nature & Politics and, through the perspective of three scholars, place the photographer’s recent work within a broader historical and artistic context. Presenters include:
  • Ivy Cooper
    Professor of Art History, Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville
  • Hannah Klemm
    Assistant curator of contemporary art
  • Eric Lutz
    Associate curator of prints, drawings and photographs

SLAM Underground: Tech

Friday, November 24, 7–10 pm
Join us for activities, cocktails, and art making inspired by the exhibition.
Admission is free. Details at

Presentation and Film Series

Friday, January 12, 7 pm
The Farrell Auditorium

Utopia/Dystopia: Thomas Struth and the Image of Nature and Technology in Film
Lutz Koepnick, Gertrude Conaway Vanderbilt Professor of German, Cinema and Media Arts, Vanderbilt University
$5/Members free
In this presentation, media scholar and art critic Lutz Koepnick will bring Struth’s work in conversation with various films that pose questions about the future of humans and the role of nature amid the complexities of our technology-filled world. After Friday evening’s introductory talk, return to the Museum on Saturday and Sunday to view related films selected by Koepnick in The Farrell Auditorium. Saturday films are each $5/Members free. Sunday’s film is $15/$10 Members.

Film Series
Saturday, January 13
11 am: Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (1971, 1h 29m)
2 pm: Blade Runner (1982, 1h 57m) * This film is rated R
Sunday, January 14
2 pm: Metropolis (1927, 2h 33m)
Presented with live musical accompaniment
Struth - Space Shuttle

Thomas Struth, German, born 1954; Space Shuttle 1, Kennedy Space Center, Cape Canaveral 2008; chromogenic print; 78 ½ × 12 ft. 4 ¼ inches; Courtesy of Marian Goodman Gallery © Thomas Struth

Members See it Free

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All Members enjoy:
  • Free admissions to all exhibitions
  • Invitations to Members-only exhibition previews and special events
  • $5 parking in the parking garage (save up to $10 per visit!)
  • Discounts on classes, workshops, and ticketed programs
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Just for Members

Friday, November 3, 10 am–8 pm
Saturday, November 4, 10 am–4 pm

Member Exhibition Preview Days
Members get a sneak peek of Thomas Struth: Nature & Politics before the exhibition officially opens.