Special Bicentennial Exhibition at the Illinois State Museum Set to Open

Release Date: 

Monday, June 18, 2018

ISM Location: 

For Immediate Release:

The Illinois State Museum will present a major new exhibition in celebration of the state’s 200th birthday which will feature rare and rarely-seen artifacts from the Museum’s 13.5–million-object Illinois Legacy Collection to highlight the dynamic story of Illinois. Bicentennial and Beyond! The Illinois Legacy Collection exhibition will open to the public with a special reception at 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. on June 29th and close on February 3, 2019. The reception is free and open to the public and includes complimentary soft drinks, light appetizers, a cash bar and music provided by the Virgil Rhodes and his band “Footprints”. Those interested in attending should RSVP by emailing Leslie.Cline@illinois.gov or calling 217-782-0909.

Museum Director Robert Sill noted, “The exhibition is the most comprehensive of the Museum’s broad collection in the history of the institution.  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.” 

This exhibition will feature artifacts from a variety of disciplines including fine and decorative art, anthropology, archeology, botany, history, geology, and zoology chosen for the unique story 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 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 explore, discover, learn, and share the history, prehistory, and natural history of Illinois through the featured objects and the fascinating stories behind them.

The Illinois State Museum is open Monday through Saturday from 9:00 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. and Sunday from 12 p.m. until 4:30 p.m.  The Museum is located at 502 South Spring Street in Springfield on the Capitol Complex.  Museum admission:  $5 for adults ages 19-64; free admission for youth, seniors, and veterans.

Contact Person: 

Karen Everingham

Contact Email: 


Contact Phone: 


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