Skip to main content
"So my motto is, 'Make St. Louis French Again,'" Christman says with a laugh.

When pondering the beaten down state of St. Louis’ art and music scenes, Bill Christman has a theory on who is to blame: It was those damn Germans.

The city had been founded by the French, the prolific St. Louis artist recounts, before the Germans came along in the 1840s, prior to the Civil War. The newcomers had money, education and skills, and soon they more or less took the town over. The French, he notes, just kind of let ’em have it.

But while the Germans’ oft-touted efficiency brought considerable growth to the region in the decades that followed, the more laissez-faire attitude of the city’s founders, with their focus on art and music and culture and whimsy, is decidedly more Christman’s speed.

“So my motto is, ‘Make St. Louis French Again,'” Christman says with a laugh.

It’s not that he thinks St. Louis has a dearth of talent — on the contrary, he knows we have a wealth of gifted artists that call the city home. But he’s of the opinion that St. Louis suffers from low self-esteem, that we think of ourselves as second-rate, that we think if you don’t move away to New York or Chicago or LA, you must be a nobody. His fondest wish, he says, is for that self-assessment to change.

So in the name of being the change he wants to see in the world, Christman is putting his time and money where his mouth is and opening an outsider art gallery and antiques consignment shop in the Delmar Loop, which serves as the catalyst for this afternoon’s meeting with an RFT reporter.

Bill Christman and some of his robot children who live at his new space in the Loop.


© 2023 Delmar Loop
Represented by the Loop Special Business District & East Loop CID