Decorative Arts

Hand-Painted Bowl

Image of Pickard China bowl painted by Ingeborg Klein.
This bowl was painted with a bird of paradise design by Swedish immigrant Ingeborg Klein for the Pickard China Company. Klein worked for Pickard from 1920 until about 1925, when she returned to Sweden.

Wedding dress

Image of wedding dress worn by Illinois First Lady Catherine Yates.
Sixteen-year-old Catherine Geers wore this dress when she married a young lawyer named Richard Yates in Jacksonville on July 9, 1839. The couple had five children, though one died in infancy, and one was struck by lightning and killed at age 11. 

World's Columbian Exposition Quilt

Image of Columbian Exposition crazy quilt.

Leonard F. Mitchell
1893
silk, velvet, satin, brocade
Gift of Peggy L. Gurach and Lynn Guarch-Pardo, 2004.201
ILLINOIS LEGACY COLLECTION - ILLINOIS STATE MUSEUM

This crazy quilt was created to commemorate the World’s Columbian Exposition, which was held in Chicago in 1893 to celebrate the 400th anniversary of Christopher Columbus’s discovery of the Americas. An image of Columbus occupies the center of the quilt. Below him are images of Bertha Palmer, one of the Fair’s organizers; George Washington; an unidentified woman; President Grover Cleveland, who opened the fair on May 1, 1893; and the Duke of Veragua of Spain, the only living descendant of Christopher Columbus at the time.

Augusta Margaret Linebarger’s Stroller

Image of child's stroller.
Augusta Margaret was born in 1917 to Harley and Lillian Linebarger of Edgar County. In 1920, she developed juvenile diabetes, for which there was no known treatment at the time. Unable to metabolize sugar, Augusta Margaret could not derive adequate nutrition from the food she ate. In an effort to prolong her life, her parents developed special menus for her and took her repeatedly to the hospital in Danville. Ultimately, a doctor wrote to them and told them that he could offer no hope for their little girl. As she grew too frail to walk, her parents took her out in this stroller.

Child’s Jumpsuit

Image of anti-war child's jumpsuit.

maker unknown
c. 1972
cotton
Gift of Mr. and Mrs. Roy Pickel, 1979.87.2
ILLINOIS LEGACY COLLECTION – ILLINOIS STATE MUSEUM

Opposition to American involvement in the Vietnam War began with small demonstrations on college campuses in 1964. By the end of the decade, anti-war sentiment had grown into a broad social movement that sparked a counterculture revolution.

Mosaic Quilt

Image of mosaic quilt, Albert Small, 1941-1945.

c. 1941-1945
Illinois Legacy Collection, Illinois State Museum
Gift of William A. Small and Evelyn Small Carter, 1992.51.3

After teasing his wife and daughter about the workmanship of one of their quilts, Albert Small was tartly asked if he could do any better. “I can and I will,” he replied and bet them that he could make his own quilt using more pieces of smaller size than anything they could produce. Albert was a foreman at the Ottawa Silica Plant; he had no quiltmaking experience. Nevertheless, after working with dynamite and heavy machinery all day, he picked up his needle and thread at night and succeeded in creating a quilt out of more than 36,000 hexagon-shaped pieces.

Wheat Shaft in Shadow Box

Image of decorative wheat shaft in shadow box.

1904
Illinois Legacy Collection, Illinois State Museum
Gift of Larry H. Smith, 2011.082.0001

This decorative wheat shaft was placed on the grave of James Franklin Moss (1825-1904), a farmer from Jersey County. Wheat is a typical motif of mourning art. It symbolizes the divine harvest of death and the resurrection of the soul.

Phonograph

Image of Grand Busy Bee Disc Talking Machine.

c. 1906-1909
Illinois Legacy Collection, Illinois State Museum
Gift of Leslie Oldenettel in memory of Bernice Oldenettel, 1990.53.42

The phonograph had a profound impact on the way Americans experienced music. Prior to its invention, the only way to hear music was when it was played or sung live. Music was typically played in group settings, where all were welcome, and even expected, to sing along, and the melody was never played exactly the same way twice. The phonograph allowed people to listen to the songs they wanted to hear, when they wanted to hear them, and if they wanted to, they could even listen to them alone.

Silver Spoon

Image of silver spoon owned by Frances Todd Wallace, sister of Mary Todd Lincoln.

c. 1850
Illinois Legacy Collection, Illinois State Museum
Gift of Mrs. F. J. Patterson, 1971.35.750168

This silver spoon belonged to Frances Todd Wallace, sister of Mary Todd Lincoln. It was purchased from Chatterton’s Jewelry Store in Springfield (the same place where Abraham Lincoln bought Mary’s wedding ring). The spoon was eventually donated to the Illinois State Museum by Frances’s great-granddaughter.

Sewing machine

Image of sewing machine.

c. 1861-1870
Illinois Legacy Collection, Illinois State Museum
Gift of Arlene Jay Robb in memory of her DeGroff Jay ancestors, 2012.102.0060

This hand-crank sewing machine was used by Anna Haight Kipp DeGroff at her farmhouse in Kendall County during the 1860s. It is a New England style machine, manufactured by Charles Raymond. Small, light, and relatively inexpensive, this machine was a popular alternative to the larger, more expensive machines sold by Singer and Howe.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - Decorative Arts