Museum Collection on the Road: Christina Ramberg in Berlin

The museum’s two Christina Ramberg paintings on exhibit in an exhibition at KW Institute for Contemporary Art in Berlin Germany. Curated by Anna Gritz, the exhibition puts Ramberg’s work in conversation with contemporary artists around the ideas of constraint and identity.

The Making of Husbands: Christina Ramberg in Dialogue
14 September 19 – 5 January 20

Alexandra Bircken, Rachal Bradley, Sara Deraedt, Gaylen Gerber, Frieda Toranzo Jaeger, Konrad Klapheck, Ghislaine Leung, Hans-Christian Lotz, Senga Nengudi, Ana Pellicer, Christina Ramberg, Richard Rezac, Diane Simpson, Terre Thaemlitz,  Kathleen White Continue Reading

Museum Collection on the Road: Sheldon Peck Homestead, Lombard, IL

The Illinois State Museum’s Sheldon Peck portrait of Silas Vaughan is currently on view with other works by the artist in his home in Lombard, IL. Mr. Vaughan is in good company, surrounded by over a dozen of Peck’s portraits. This is a rare opportunity to see the work bu the distinctive folk portraitist, sheep farmer and radical abolitionist in the original home of the artist. The exhibition, Sheldon Peck: Footsteps of his Life is organized by the Lombard Historical Society, and is on extended view through October 8th.

Read more here

Museum Collection on the Road: Lubeznik Center for the Arts

The Illinois Legacy Collection has lent four pieces to the Lubeznik Center for the Arts fantastic exhibition The Chicago Imagist Before and After. On view are three Joseph Yoakum works on paper and a Seymour Rosofsky print. Congratulations to LCA’s curator Lora Fosberg for organizing such an excellent exhibition. Many other regional institutions have lent great works as well (Brauer Museum of Art, South Bend Art Museum, Midwest Museum of American Art), proving the strength of our Midwest museum community.

The Chicago Imagists: Before & After
June 17 – October 19

Hyndman Gallery, Brinka/Cross Gallery, Susan Block Gallery

Explore the 1960s/70s Chicago Imagists movement that celebrated the lowbrow, colorful nature of everyday urban life with individuality and irreverence. This exhibition features the Chicago Imagists, artists who inspired them and those they influenced; included are Roger Brown, Tony Fitzpatrick, Lee Godie, Jeff Koons, Paul Nudd, Ed Paschke, Suellen Rocca, Karl Wirsum, Joseph Yoakum, Ray Yoshida and more.

Seymour Rosofsky, The Couple, 1973, Lithograph on paper, 1976.41/572. Joseph Yoakum, Mt. Velebit in Dina Alps Near Otocac, date unknown, ball point pen, colored pencil, watercolor on paper, 2001.89, Gift of Phyllis Arist, Joseph Yoakum, Mt. Cenis Pass, Torino, Italy, c. 1965, ball point pen and colored pencil on paper, 1982.5. Joseph Yoakum, Colonial Mtn, Cannal zone, 1964, Ball point pen and pencil on paper, 2012.101.6, Gift of the Raymond K Yoshida Living Trust and the Kohler Foundation, Inc.

Museum’s Rodin visits home for a brief exhibition



The Illinois State Museum’s Auguste Rodin sculpture is on loan to Maison Noilly Prat for an exhibition ‘A Rodin to Say Thank you’. The Noilly Prat distillery purchased the sculpture from the Rodin Museum as their gift to the Merci Train. It is now returned home for a brief visit to soak up some Mediterranean rays!

This sculpture was a gift to the people of the State of Illinois from the Merci Train, or French Gratitude Train, of 1949. The purpose of this gift was to acknowledge the more than $40 million in food and aid collected in 1947 by private citizens in the United States and sent to France and Italy after World War II. Many of the gifts were handmade, while others, like this sculpture from the celebrated artist Auguste Rodin, were reflective of the French cultural heritage.

Jeanne d’Aire, Burgher of Calais, Auguste Rodin, (1840-1917, b. Paris, France, d. Meudon, France), Modeled 1884-1889, eduction model 1895, cast May 1945, Patinated bronze, Gift of the French Merci Train, from a prior purchase from the Rodin Museum in 1948 by Noilly-Prat et Cie., 1949.21

Illinois Legacy Collection on the Road: Art Institute of Chicago


The Illinois State Museum is pleased that Suellen Rocca’s painting Blue Policeman / Eek, will be on view as part of the Hairy Who? 1966-1969 exhibition at The Art Institute of Chicago. Exhibition runs  September 26, 2018–January 6, 2019. Read more here.

Hairy Who? 1966–1969 is organized by the Art Institute of Chicago.

Suellen Rocca (American, b. 1943), Blue Policeman / Eek, c.1966, oil on canvas, 16 x 12″, Illinois Legacy Collection, Gift of Chuck Thurow, 2016.21.069.


Welcoming New Staff

The Illinois State Museum is thrilled to announce the addition of two new staff members: Erika Holst and Tracy Pierceall. Erika and Tracy have already begun working on the upcoming Illinois Legacy Collection Bicentennial exhibition as well as other projects. If you see them at the Museum, please say hello.

Erika Holst, Curator of Decorative Arts

ISM_Staff_Holst_Erika web

Erika Holst has previously worked at Dickson Mounds Museum and the Papers of Abraham Lincoln.  She comes to the State Museum from the Springfield Art Association, where she was in charge of the restoration, interpretation, and programming at historic Edwards Place. Erika loves historic artifacts in general, but her favorite field of inquiry is pre-Civil War Illinois history and material culture.

Tracy Pierceall, Librarian

ISM_Staff_Pierceall_Tracy web

Before joining the Illinois State Museum staff, Tracy Pierceall worked for 16 years in the library at the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency, six of those as head librarian.  In her free time, she’s an avid quilter but also tends to dabble in a number of creative endeavors.  She’s married and is a mother to two wonderful sons and one fur baby.

Learning with Objects

Providing programs that complement and enhance classroom learning is one of the many important roles of the Museum. Last month, Dr. Michael Wiant presented a program on Native American life to more than 100 second-grade students in Chatham. The students had been studying how Native Americans survived in their environment. Dr. Wiant illustrated his presentation with animal skins, casts of tracks, artifacts, and a mastodon molar. The students sent Dr. Wiant thank you notes, which showed that in addition to enjoying the program, they were also paying close attention. We couldn’t resist sharing a few here.