Online Exhibits and Offerings
- A Family Farm Album: Photography of Frank Sadorus
- The wonderful photographer Frank Sadorus lived and worked on a farm in eastern Illinois. He was an amateur photographer who chronicled his life and times. The three galleries in this exhibit feature his work and historical farm implements.
- Art in the Abstract
- This version of the Museum's popular exhibition offers an introduction to understanding abstract art through a variety of interactive resources. It features examples of abstract art from the Illinois State Museum collection. It also highlights the career of Manierre Dawson, a pioneer of abstract art in the Midwest. Fine Arts Activities, Projects, and Lesson Plans stressing the elements of abstraction in art and based on I.S.B.E Standards and Goals for art education are included for Grades 1-12.
- At Home in the Heartland
- Learn about home life in Illinois from 1700 to the present in six eras, illustrated by the Museum's collections of objects from homes. At Home is an interactive web site that teaches concepts of history focused on the choices people have made in their lives.
- Audio-Video Barn: Oral History of Illinois Agriculture
- The Audio-Video Barn is full of stories about Illinois agriculture. It contains audio and video recordings of more than 130 oral-history interviews with people involved in agriculture and rural life in Illinois. It was produced by the Illinois State Museum's Oral History of Illinois Agriculture (OHIA) project. The OHIA project is generously supported by a National Leadership Grant from the federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).
- Changes: Dynamic Illinois Environments
- Earth forces are continually at work causing change. Climate, land, and living things are all connected. They interact with each other in complex ways. Even a small change can start a chain reaction that, over time, has big effects. Scientists study how Illinois' environment has evolved over the last 500 million years and how it continues to change even today. This online version of the Illinois State Museum's natural history hall explores the scientific evidence for environmental change in Illinois. This is available both as a flash-based interactive version, and also a non-flash version.
- Harvesting the River
- This rich Web exhibit features the economic history of the central Illinois River communities from Liverpool to Meredosia. It includes waterfowl hunting, commercial fishing, ice harvesting, and musseling. The transportation section includes information about the many kinds of boats that plied the river, early railroads, and plank toll roads. There are short histories of the six towns along the river.
- Ice Ages Web Exhibit
- This Web exhibit answers some of the basic questions about the Ice Ages in Illinois. The astronomical and geological conditions that cause ice ages are described.
- Journey to Other Worlds
- This Web exhibit presents vintage photographs and articles describing the everyday and shamanistic life among the native people of Siberia. Quicktime images allow viewers to see all sides of artifacts. Learn about the domestic and spiritual life of these little-seen indigenous people of Russia.
- L. Brent Kington: Mythic Metalsmith
- The L. Brent Kington: Mythic Metalsmith exhibition revists Kington's early cast silver and bronze toys of the 1960s, his pivotal pieces of forged iron and steel while transitioning into blacksmithing, a series of forged iron kinetic weathervanes, painted Icarus pieces, and follows ultimately to his larger, contemporary abstract sculptures to present us with crosiers, spires, and crescents. This exhibition is comprised of objects borrowed from private and museum collections.
- Lewis and Clark in Illinois
- Learn about what Lewis and Clark did, whom they met, and what they saw in Illinois during the winter of 1804 when they were preparing for their epic journey to the West.
- Mazon Creek Fossils Web Exhibit
- This web exhibit features images of fossils of plants and animals from the Mazon Creek area of northern Illinois. These fossils formed inside concretions; some of them even show the soft tissues that usually do not become fossilized. From this fossil evidence, scientists have reconstructed ancient environments of Illinois.
- Midwestern U.S. 16,000 Years Ago Web Exhibit
- This Web exhibit features the extinct large mammals such as mammoths and mastodons, as well as smaller mammals that live here today. It explains the four possible reasons for extinction.
- Morton D. Barker Paperweight Collection
- Morton D. Barker, a resident and businessman of Springfield, donated his collection of classical paperweights to the ISM in 1976. The collection of over 150 objects includes excellent examples of millefiori, lampwork, and sulphides. The major glass factories of France and the United States are represented. Learn how each type of paperweight was made.
- MuseumLink Art Web Exhibits
- The Web exhibits are: Three Chicago Painters - Emil Armin, Bertrude Abercrombie, and Julia Thecla; Two Illinois Photographers - Nathan Lerner and Frank Sadorus; Illinois Quilts and Quilters - Learn about the different styles, eras, and patterns of quilts; Illinois Folk Art - pottery, textiles, paintings, and sculpture made by untrained and trained artists in the 19th century; Victorian Furniture; Themes in Art and Folk Art - Abundance, Remembrance, Coming of Age, and Sense of Place
- MuseumLink Behind the Scenes at the Museum
- Behind the Scenes lets students learn about museum careers of curator, preparator, director, resesarch assistant, and other jobs involved with running a museum. It offers descriptions of the ISM collections and research programs in Botany, Zoology, Anthropology, Geology, and Art. There is sections on how to mount an exhibit, how to restore an object, how donations are handled, how exhibit murals are made, and how prehistoric environments and lifeways are reconstructed from evidence. Suggestions are given for students to create an exhibit and research objects.
- MuseumLink Forests of Illinois
- The Forests online exhibit includes information about prehistoric, historic, and contemporary forests of Illinois. The six types of forests are described and can be viewed in panoramas. The importance of fire, water, and conservation are emphasized. Lesson plans cover forest layers, pollen graph, leaf collection, dye plants, and forests as inspiration for art and literature. There is a field guide to native Illinois trees.
- MuseumLink Native American Module
- Learn about the Archaic, Woodland, Late Prehistoric and historic eras of Native American lifeways in Illinois. Lesson plans include the topics of foodways, architecture, clothing, rituals, symbols, and games. This is the most thorough exhibit on the Web of Illinois-related Native American information. Activities are also provided for the Cub Scout and Boy Scout badges.
- MuseumLink Prairies in Illinois
- This exhibit traces the various types of Illinois prairie through time. Conservation and preservation are emphasized. Lesson plans for all grades include activities on surveying, plant adaptations, dye plants, poetry, and prairie restoration. There is a field guide of prairie flowers.
- Museumobile and ISM History
- This exhibit features several articles about the beginnings of the ISM in the 19th century, its growth, and the new natural history exhibit Changes. One page features information and images of the Museumobile, a travelling museum that brought exhibits to the rural areas of Illinois in the 1950s and 60s.
- Of Time and the River
- "Of Time and the River" is an educational Web site combining geology, archaeology, history, environmental science, and the changing ecology of the Illinois River to tell the story of this river during 12,000 years of human use. Our focus is a problem known as Non-point Source Pollution - pollution in the Illinois River from diffuse sources and not from a single point of origin nor introduced into the river from a specific source.
- Prairies in the Prairie State Web Exhibit
- This exhibit is a detailed look at Illinois prairie plants and animals. It focuses on Midewin Prairie, a restoration in progress on the property of the old Joliet arsenal. Insects, birds, and mammals are featured.
- State Symbols of Illinois Web Exhibit
- This exhibit features most of the official Illinois state symbols. Each symbol has a page of background. There is an interactive multiple choice game. There are also lesson plans for elementary students that help them become familiar with each symbol.
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