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Doors Open: Illinois Governor's Mansion



The Illinois Governor’s Mansion is excited to announce that the People’s House will reopen to the public on July 14th, 2018. The Illinois Governor's Mansion will be open daily for guided tours and educational programs.

In February 2015, construction began to completely renovate the Illinois Governor’s Mansion, funded entirely with private dollars. The renovation focused on structural repairs and construction updates, it was also an opportunity to focus on the visitor experience, truly making the Mansion the people’s house for Illinois residents. Complete with dedicated art spaces, expanded programming, full accessibility for visitors and a focus on Illinois’ rich history, the Illinois Governor’s Mansion is open seven days a week. The renovated Governor’s Mansion will be a breathtaking experience for visitors – from new construction and pristine landscaping, to art exhibitions and an enhanced visitor center, the Mansion renovation offers countless new features.

The Visitor Experience
The Illinois Governor’s Mansion renovation project focused on elevating the visitor experience. New features include:

  • Full ADA accessibility for the first time in history
  • Professionally trained docents for guided tours
  • Expanded programming
  • An all-new visitor center and short orientation video
  • Rooms dedicated specifically to historic events, including the Columbian Exposition and Past Illinois Governors and families

Art Exhibition Space
A dedicated space for art exhibits is part of the fabric of the newly renovated Governor’s Mansion. The inaugural exhibition, Art in Illinois, brings together over 80 works of art from Illinois based artists, 20 of which are never before seen privately owned pieces on loan. The inaugural exhibition of the Illinois Governor’s Mansion in Springfield following a major architectural restoration, Art of Illinois examines the creative achievement of fine and applied arts practitioners working in Illinois from the mid-nineteenth century to the present. Exhibiting over 100 significant examples from the fields of painting, sculpture, furniture, metalwork, ceramics, and glass, Art of Illinois emphasizes themes, including: the historical depth and richness of the state’s artistic legacy, the diversity of Chicago’s and Illinois’ creative community, and how the places and people of Illinois, especially Chicago, have inspired artists. Drawn from collections statewide, the exhibited works exemplify the variety of museums, historic sites, and other settings in which the state’s and Chicago’s art and design heritage are preserved and presented.

Art of Illinois contributes new insights into Chicago’s art and design history showcasing Chicago-created decorative and fine arts across various media that are rarely considered in a single presentation. The exhibition examines the work of Chicago-area fine and applied arts in dialogue with work produced in downstate locales, surveys the highlights of the creative achievements of Chicago and downstate artists and artisans from the mid-nineteenth century to the present, and groups objects by aesthetic considerations, themes, or genre encouraging them to “dialogue” across time drawn from collections statewide. The exhibition is organized by curators Wendy Greenhouse and Sharon Darling. This exhibit is free to the public.

Event Details

Aug 11 to Aug 12, 2018

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