Illinois State Museum exhibition highlights state’s 200th birthday

The Illinois State Museum in Springfield is presenting a major new exhibition in celebration of the state’s 200th birthday.

The exhibition features rare and rarely-seen artifacts from the museum’s 13.5-million-object Illinois Legacy Collection to highlight the dynamic story of Illinois. 

The “Bicentennial and Beyond! The Illinois Legacy Collection” exhibition opened to the public with a reception which was held Friday evening, June 29.

“The exhibition is the most comprehensive of the museum’s broad collection in the history of the institution,” Illinois State Museum director Robert Sill said.  

“Visitors will see a significant portion of their shared story that is being preserved for future generations by the Illinois State Museum, and learn about the individuals who used these objects and the stories behind them.” 

The exhibition features artifacts from a variety of disciplines, including fine and decorative art, anthropology, archaeology, botany, history, geology, and zoology, which have been chosen for the unique stories they tell about Illinois. 

Reflecting the fact that the complete story of Illinois goes well beyond the 200 years since statehood, artifacts will range from 400-million-year-old fossils to contemporary art. 

Visitors will see a helmet worn by a World War I soldier, a trunk brought to Illinois by German immigrants in 1852, a core segment from Route 66, a piece of contemporary art created of cowhide, an Olney albino gray tree squirrel mount and a portrait miniature done by an itinerant Illinois artist, among many other treasures. 

Visitors will have an opportunity to explore, discover, learn and share the history, prehistory and natural history of Illinois through the featured objects and the stories behind them.

The “Bicentennial and Beyond! The Illinois Legacy Collection” exhibition is scheduled to be featured at the museum through Feb. 3, 2019.

The Illinois State Museum is open Monday through Saturday, from 9 a.m. until 4:30 p.m.; and Sunday, from noon until 4:30 p.m.  

The museum is located at 502 S. Spring St. in Springfield on the Capitol Complex.  

Museum admission is $5 for adults ages 19-64;  and free for youth, seniors and veterans.

The Gazette-Democrat

112 Lafayette St.
Anna, Illinois 62906
Office Number: (618) 833-2158

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