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Northern Illinois University Art Museum
NIU Art Museum’s mission is to service the arts curriculum at NIU and to extend arts education and cultural enrichment to the community. The Museum has a permanent collection of 1,000 art pieces and also hosts visiting exhibitions. The Jack Olson Gallery is “the cornerstone of exhibition programming” that is promoted by NIU School of Art. This exhibit space brings thought provoking exhibitions to the northern Illinois community while also offering faculty and students a space to showcase their latest creative endeavors.
Northern Illinois University Anthropology Museum
The Anthropology Museum at Northern Illinois University was founded in 1964 and is operated as part of the Department of Anthropology. The museum houses over 20,000 objects comprised mostly of ethnographic material with some archaeological material. The museum specializes in cultures of Southeast Asia, New Guinea, and the Southwest and Plains Native Americans. In addition, the museum holds smaller collections from Africa, modern Greece, Mesoamerica, and South America. The museum is particularly proud of the Native American basket collection, featuring over 200 specimens, as well as the Indonesian textile collection, which contains over 600 pieces. In addition, the museum also houses about 100 different Indonesian shadow puppets, a fine collection of Thai khon masks, and important collections of Hmong and Karen artifacts. The museum has a growing collection of modern Mesoamerican artifacts reflecting the cultural and artistic changes taking place in modern Honduras, Guatemala, and Mexico. The Museum is open during the NIU Academic Year.
Museum of the Matteson Historical Society
History and artifacts of the Matteson area; obituaries, maps, oral histories, library of antique books and newspaper clippings can be found at this informative resource.
1950s Park Forest Museum
Step back into the 1950s in a representation of an original home with toys, dolls, books, clothes and furnishings of the era, in the first fully-planned post-World War II suburb.
Cruisin' with Lincoln on 66 Visitors Center
Located in the heart of Downtown Bloomington on Historic Route 66, the Cruisin with Lincoln on 66 Visitor Center exhibits cover stories about dining, lodging and travel, which were experienced by both Abraham Lincoln and Route 66 travelers. These are supplemented by local items, books, cards, maps and more!
Woodland Palace at Francis Park
A must-see attraction in Kewanee is the Woodland Palace at Francis Park, the first “green” home in Illinois. This unusual home was built way ahead of its time and is filled with engineering wonders. Learn about the quirky and eccentric man who built and lived in the home. Fred Francis was an artist, poet, inventor, builder, mathematician, engineer, and a naturist. Francis started to build the home in 1890 and worked on it for the next thirty-six years. It features hand-carved molding, a water purification system, and is the first house in the state of Illinois to have air-conditioning without the aid of electricity. View the sophisticated achievements of disappearing windows, doors, and more. Visit a home where everything seems to work in harmony. Woodland Palace is open seven days a week from 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. April through October 1.
Villa Park Historical Museum
Built in 1929, the Villa Park Historical Museum building originally served the community as the Villa Ave stop for the Chicago, Aurora & Elgin electric train line and an appliance store. It was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1986. Today, it houses relics and artifacts from Villa Park's past including articles from the Ovaltine Factory which once operated in Villa Park and Sears Catalog Homes in the area.
Lyon Farm Fall Festival
Crafts, flea market, blacksmith shop, baked items, pumpkins, hay rides, children’s games and more. Vintage car show on Sunday.
Bishop Hill Steeple Building
Take a look back in history and visit the Steeple building, built in 1854. Architecturally intriguing it is a three-story stucco Greek Revival structure with a two-story tower and 66 six-over-six windows. It was built to be used as a hotel, but instead was used as a dwelling, school, administration building, and later housed a bank, telephone switchboard and apartments. The museum is home to the Bishop Hill Heritage Asssociation offices. The rooms and exhibit showcase historic artifacts and photos of early Colony days and take visitors back through time to a quaint prairie village. Group tours by appointment, small fee.
Galena Center for the Arts
Celebrating regional art in its many forms: special exhibits, performances, regional artwork gallery, photography from the historic Alfie Mueller collection.
C.H. Moore Homestead
Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this restored mansion and grounds whisk visitors back to the Victorian era. Once home to Clinton attorney Clifton H. Moore, visitors will enjoy tours and stories of the friend and law partner of Abraham Lincoln who one resided there. Home of the DeWitt County Museum.
LaSalle County Historical Society Heritage Center
The LaSalle County Historical Society’s museum lies on the north side of the historic Illinois and Michigan Canal, itself a historical landmark. The museum building, erected in 1848 during the presidency of Zachary Taylor, is a beautifully restored sandstone building that was originally a granary and warehouse. The two-story building has walls of sandstone blocks between 18 and 32 inches thick, quarried in Utica, and secured with hydraulic cement of the same kind used in the construction of the I&M Canal. James Clark, the man who commissioned the building, came to Utica in 1833, where he became a land squatter. In 1842 he became a contractor on the I&M Canal and in 1845 he bought the local cement mill. He made it a huge commercial success by selling the cement to the canal contractors and the general public. The cement was used in many parts of the canal.
Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art
Established in 1991, Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art (Intuit) is the only nonprofit organization in the United States that is dedicated solely to presenting self-taught and outsider art — with world class exhibitions; resources for scholars and students; a Permanent Collection with holdings of more than 1,100 works of art; the Henry Darger Room Collection; the Robert A. Roth Study Center, a non-circulating collection with a primary focus in the fields of outsider and contemporary self-taught art; and educational programming for people of all interest levels and backgrounds.
Rock Run Country Historical Society Museum
Open: Wednesday: 1 pm to 3 pm; or by appointment This museum, in an 1870's building, features artifacts from the Rock City area including pictures, clothing, articles and more.
Illinois State Museum-Southern Illinois Art Gallery
A museum gallery featuring theme-based exhibits of works created by past and contemporary Illinois artist and artisans. Less than 1 mile southeast of Rend Lake.
Museum of the Gilding Arts
The Museum of the Gilding Arts' focus is the history, craft, and use of gold and silver leafing in architecture and in decoration throughout history. The exhibit features items from the Society of Gilders' Swift Collection. The M. Swift & Sons company manufactured gold leaf in Hartford, CT, and began its operations in 1887. Free Admission - Donation Only
West Franklin County Museum
This museum, located in an old school building contains artifacts, memorabilia and hundreds of photographs, which depict lifestyles and the people from the early days of Franklin County. Only 10 miles southwest of Rend Lake. The museum is free to the public but they do accept donations.
Busy Beaver Button Company and Museum
ince pinback buttons were patented in 1896, people have found many ways to express their life events through buttons. They created the Button Museum to show how people commemorated noteworthy times in their lives by creating and collecting these wearable mementos. The words, artwork, printing style, color, and size were the final result of a vision they wanted to communicate or be a part of.
Silkwood Inn Museum
The Silkwood Inn was built in 1827 and contains furnishings and artifacts from the 1800s. A tour trough this amazing Inn includes the telling of a famous local legend about the kindness of the Silkwood family, a slave girl named Priscilla, and the Trail of Tears. The museum is free to the public but donations are accepted.
Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology
The goals of the Wood Library-Museum of Anesthesiology are to collect and preserve literature and equipment pertaining to anesthesiology and to make available to the anesthesiology community, others in the medical profession and the public the most comprehensive educational, scientific and archival resources in anesthesiology.
The Richard H. Driehaus Gallery of Stained Glass at Navy Pier
The Richard H. Driehaus Gallery of Stained Glass, located near the tip of Chicago’s Navy Pier, immerses visitors in darkened rooms bathed in the glow of 11 of Tiffany Studios’ stained glass windows, ranging from ecclesiastical to secular landscapes. Each displays the ways Tiffany Studios reinvented tradition, using embedded colors and new types of glass to create folds, ripples, and other textures that gave life to each scene.
American Toby Jug Museum
The American Toby Jug Museum is home to more than 8,000 Toby and Character jugs, and related derivatives from around the globe. The collection spans the Centuries and features characters representing the times in which they were made, from the oldest dating back to the 1760’s to the most recent ones still in production. It is the largest collection in the world, and is on display and open to the public
DeKalb Area Women's Center
1917 Old Finn Hall houses OnStage Gallery & Great Hall Exhibition Space with monthly art shows or historic collections & various programs. Hours: Fridays 7 - 9 p.m. & by appointment.
Kewanee Historical Society
Founded in 1976, the group maintains the Kewanee Historical Society's Robert and Marcella Richards Museum, featuring numerous exhibits highlighting the colorful history of Kewanee. Open, May 1st to October 1st Thursday & Saturday, 1:30PM-4:00PM Open Everyday Labor Day Weekend