Illinois Legacy Collection on the Road

 

Three sculptures by Theodore Halkin from the Illinois State Museum’s art collection will be on view in the upcoming exhibition 3-D Doings: The Imagist Object in Chicago Art, 1964-1980 at the Tang Museum of Art in Saratoga Springs, NY. The Exhibition will run from September 8, 2018 – January 6, 2019.

Featured artist include: Don Baum, Roger Brown, Sarah Canright, Dominick Di Meo, Eleanor Dube, Ed Flood, Art Green, Red Grooms, Ted Halkin, Philip Hanson, June Leaf, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, Christina Ramberg, Suellen Roca, Barbara Rossi, Evelyn Statsinger, Stephen Urry, H.C. Westermann, Karl Wirsum, Ray Yoshida.

3-D Doings is organized by Tang Museum Dayton Director Ian Berry and Chicago-based curators and scholars John Corbett and Jim Dempsey. The exhibition and subsequent catalog are funded in part by The Andy Warhol Foundation, and the Terra Foundation for American Art, as part of Art Design Chicago.

Read more about the exhibition here.

Picture above: Theodore (Ted) Halkin (American, b. Chicago IL, 1924), (left) House 6, 1971-75, plaster, pillow with cotton case, woven mess with cellophane, 11 x 11 ½ x 6 ½ “ (house), 5 x 17 x 22” (pillow), 2001.22.39, gift of the artist. (top right) House 7, c. 1971-75, mixed media sculpture/piece fake fur over an armature, fiber, found metal case with plastic handle, 12 x 9 x 7” (house), 14 ¼ x 10 ¼ x 5 ½ “ (case), 2001.22. 37, Gift of the artist. (bottom right) House 10, c. 1971-75, mixed media sculpture/castable material or concrete, metallic paint, embroidered pillow with lace trim, 7 x 5 x 5 ¾” (house), 1 ½ x 11 x 11” (pillow), 2001.22.40, Gift of the artist

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Bicentennial & Beyond! Opens with a Splash

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The Museum opened its Bicentennial & Beyond! The Illinois Legacy Collection exhibition on Friday, June 29 with a public celebration. Almost 400 people enjoyed music, food, drinks, and one of the largest exhibitions of rarely-seen objects from the Museum’s Illinois Legacy Collection of 13.5 million objects.

Bicentennial and Beyond! exhibits artifacts from a variety of disciplines, including art, anthropology, archeology, botany, decorative arts, geology, and zoology, 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 range from 400-million-year-old fossils to contemporary art. The exhibition runs through February 3, 2019.

Photos by Chris Young and Megan Ruyle. To see a 360º photo of the exhibition gallery, click here.

New Exhibition Honors Heroes: Including Yours!

Unsung Heroes descriptionThe Museum would like to feature your Illinois “unsung hero” in a Facebook Gallery that will supplement a coming exhibition.

On March 3, the Museum will open a new exhibition, Unsung Heroes, featuring three little-known heroes from Illinois’ past. Anna Heistad was a nurse and settlement worker in early 19th century Chicago who rose before dawn during the Spanish flu pandemic to work with the ill.  Minnie Vautrin was a missionary worker in China who sheltered thousands of women and children during the Nanking Massacre of 1937-1938. Thomas Jones was a Navy medic who tended to his comrades’ wounds in the heat of battle and continued serving veterans after his return.  All three saved countless lives, and none of them did it for any kind of reward or glory.

The Unsung Heroes exhibition will document these fascinating stories of sacrifice and heroism through photographs and personal objects, many which have never been displayed publicly. The exhibition will be open through June 10.

The Museum is also seeking photo submissions of other Illinois “unsung heroes” who will be recognized in a Facebook gallery. Interested persons should submit their hero for recognition. The hero might be a serviceman or woman, first responder, community advocate, volunteer, or anyone else who deserves recognition for their service to others.

Submission requirements:

  • High-quality photo of an Illinois “unsung hero”
  • Hero’s name
  • Hero’s Illinois hometown
  • Submitter’s name
  • Hero’s story in a few paragraphs (what makes this person a hero?)

Send photos and information to erika.holst@illinois.gov by March 2, 2018 for consideration.

[Please do not send any original photos. WE CANNOT RETURN HARD COPIES SUBMITTED FOR THIS PROJECT. By submitting a photo, you are giving the Illinois State Museum permission to display and share your photo online and with the media.  If in doubt, please check with the “hero” you are submitting to make sure they will be comfortable with the recognition.]

Pinball and Imagist Exhibit to Open in May

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Courtesy Ethan D. Ecole

On May 20, the Illinois State Museum will proudy open Kings and Queens: Pinball, Imagists and Chicago an interactive exhibition examining the intertwined history of two of Chicago’s greatest exports: pinball and imagist painting.

Most of the world’s finest pinball machines were made in Chicago’s North Side factories. As those machines reached the apex of pictorial and engineering ingenuity, the artists now known as the Imagists and the Hairy Who were finding their unique visual style with inspiration from many vernacular sources including the arcades and Riverview Park. Pinball provided inspiration with its high contrast coloration, absurd juxtapositions, and ultra-flat forms. Pinball was but one inspiration for these artists, along with the city’s many-colored storefronts, campy product ads, and hand-painted and neon commercial signs. The exhibition contains photographs of Chicago in those years, as recorded by some of these same artists.

Visitors to the exhibition are invited to play pinball on Chicago-built pinball machines alongside paintings, sculptures and prints inspired by them, including works by Roger Brown, Ed Flood, Gladys Nilsson, Jim Nutt, Ed Paschke, Christina Ramberg, Suellen Rocca, Barbara Rossi, Karl Wirsum and Ray Yoshida. The exhibition also features original works by Constantino Mitchell a long time pinball artist.

Kings and Queens is organized by the Elmhurst Art Museum Director Jenny Gibbs and curated by New York’s Dan Nadel. It will be on display at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield from May 20 – August 11, 2017.

Member Reception and Opening

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Illinois State Museum Society members gathered in the art galleries last night to view the new exhibition Michiko Itatani: Celestial Visions which opens to the public on March 25 and to converse with curator Doug Stapleton about the works on exhibit in Just Good Art: The Chuck Thurow Gift.

Just Good Art opened in February and features works newly donated to the collection by Chicago collector and arts advocate Chuck Thurow. Of the 56 Illinois artists represented in the gift, 34 are new to the Museum’s collections. Just Good Art is open through May 8.

Michiko Itatani is one of Chicago’s most well-respected contemporary artists. Celestial Visions features new acquisitions of drawings and prints alongside installation-based and heroically scaled figurative paintings from the Museum’s Fine Art Collection. This exhibition will be open through June 5.

To learn how you can become a member and receive invitations to exclusive events, discounts on programs, and members-only communications, visit our website.

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“Just Good Art” Installation

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On February 4, the Illinois State Museum will open Just Good Art: The Chuck Thurow Gift. This exhibition will feature works from the 2016 gift of over 100 contemporary artworks from Chuck Thurow, former director of the Hyde Park Art Center. You can learn more about the gift and some of the works here. The photos below are behind-the-scenes shots of the installation. Visit the Museum on through May 7 to see the exhibition.

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Photos courtesy Chris Young.