The Museum's collection of fine arts documents the progression and history of art in Illinois. It is the only such public collection in Illinois. Especially significant collections include: the 20th-century paintings (relating to Illinois); the Illinois Works Progress Administrationcollection of paintings, prints, and sculpture; the nineteenth-century folk art collection; and the historical and contemporary Illinois photograph collections, including the Frank Sadorus Collection and photographs of Nathan Lerner.
Art Collections Online
Amish Quilt Gallery
You can learn about the history of quilts created by Illinois Amish women of the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. The images and information are from the Museum publication Illinois Amish Quilts: Sharing Threads of Tradition, which can be purchased from the Museum by consulting the Publications Web page or telephoning the Museum.
Frank Sadorus Photograph Collection
Learn about the photographs of Frank Sadorus (1880-1934), a descendant of a pioneer family who founded Sadorus in east central Illinois. He lived and worked on the family farm, but during the off-season he photographed the people and landscape he knew intimately.
Frost Trade Bead Collection
Beginning in 1848, Stephen Allen Frost peddled beads and broadcloth among the Plains Indians as an itinerant merchant. His enterprise lasted longer than that of other traders because of his business acumen and that of his son, Dan. Learn about this collection of 71 trade bead sample cards from the Stephen A. Frost and Son Company and the men behind this interesting company.
Morton D. Barker Paperweight Collection Gallery
View the renowned Barker Collection of 252 glass objects including Classical French, British, American, and other Paperweights.
WPA Art Collection Introduction
Learn about the history Works Progress Administration in Illinois and view a sample of the Museum’s extensive Illinois WPA Art Collection.