Chesterfield Mall Carousel

Chesterfield Mall, Missouri, USA

Closed and sold 2018

The Disappointed Tourist: Chesterfield Mall Carousel, Ellen Harvey, 2021. Oil and acrylic on Gessoboard, 18 x 24″ (46 x 61 cm). Photograph: Etienne Frossard.

The Chesterfield Mall Carousel was located in the Chesterfield Mall (formerly known as Westfield Shoppingtown Chesterfield), a shopping mall built by Richard Jacobs in 1976. Chesterfield Mall was the largest shopping mall in the St. Louis metropolitan area in 2010. The carousel was removed and sold in 2018. Its current location is unknown. The painting is based on an uncredited photograph.

The carousel was at the center of the building and was composed of two stories. I remember that I used to love to ride the ostrich while my sister would choose a creamy horse (who she named Buttercup) only a few feet away from me. As we grew older, we would ride in the teacup (obviously spinning as fast as we could and often being asked to slow down). A couple years ago the carousel was taken down after most of the stores had gone out of business. I chose to suggest this location primarily because of all the good memories and echoes of laughter it contained, but also because I thought it would be there forever. Even though it has been several years since I rode on the carousel, there was always something comforting about seeing it and seeing other children enjoying it. It never occurred to me that it would be dismantled, leaving behind only a gaping center with nothing to fill it as the mall inches towards its inevitable closure. Emma B.