Mexican president's gift to Lindbergh discovered at Missouri History Museum

Mexican president's gift to Lindbergh discovered at Missouri History Museum

The Missouri History Museum has opened a new exhibit that celebrates one of St. Louis’ most famous couples and their connection to Mexico.

Flores Mexicanas – a Lindbergh Love Story exhibit opened this past weekend, highlighting a painting and a story that are just now coming to light after almost a century.

The exhibit delves into the early life and love story of Anne Morrow and Charles Lindbergh, how they met in Mexico during a goodwill tour in 1927, several months after the famous Atlantic crossing flight.

“It’s about the commitment we have made to telling this story,” said Frances Levine, Director of the Missouri History Museum in Forest Park. “Not just talking about Charles Lindbergh the aviator, but talking about Anne Morrow the writer, talking about Dwight Morrow and his important role in Mexican and American history as well.”

Dwight Murrow was Anne’s father and U.S. ambassador to Mexico at a sensitive time between U.S.-Mexico relations. His life and story are part of the exhibit.

One piece in particular – the recently restored painting Flores Mexicanas by renowned modernist Mexican artist Alfredo Ramos Martinez – brings all these stories together. The painting has its own interesting story and connection to the Lindbergh family and serves as the centerpiece of the exhibit.

The massive painting sat in the history museum’s storage room for decades. Now, after an extensive restoration, the painting can be seen in its original condition as it was given as a wedding gift to Anne and Charles Lindbergh by Mexico’s president on the occasion of their wedding in 1929.

Among the collection’s curiosities, visitors can find a massive globe with Lindbergh’s personal annotations on flights he made with Anne between 1929 and 1935, gifts given at their wedding as well as personal objects showing their connections to Mexico and each other.

At the opening last week, the Mexican Consul arrived as an honored guest of the museum.

“Alfredo Ramos Martinez, like many people that emigrate, whether it be to study, seek opportunities, or to enrich themselves as persons … obviously, it is a demonstration of how immigration enriches (a person),” said Alfonso Navarro-Bernachi, Consul to Mexico in Kansas City.

“Immigration enriches the countries that receive it, but it also enriches people that come in contact with other cultures, other languages, including ease of interpreting life itself.”

Visitors to the exhibit can enjoy the magnificent painting by Ramos Martinez, seeing it as it hasn’t been seen in almost a century, fully restored and looking as it did the day it was painted.

The museum also has a video showing the meticulous restoration process that the painting underwent in Michigan.

The exhibit is presented in both English and Spanish and highlights the importance of conservationism as part of the museum’s preservation of the historical artifacts it holds in storage.