Illinois State Museum

Partner Address: 

502 South Spring Springfield, IL

City, State, Zip: 

Springfield, IL

Partner Phone: 

(217) 782-7386

John Jones and His Wife Aid a Fugitive

Image of John Jones and his Wife Aid a Fugitive, oil painting, Alfred Jackson Tyler, 1963

Alfred Jackson Tyler

(1933-2011, b. Chicago IL, d. Chicago IL)

John Jones and his Wife Aid a Fugitive

1963

oil on canvas

1971.5/212, property transfer from the State Historical Library

John Jones arrived in Chicago with his wife, Mary Richardson, in 1845. He was a self-made man with no formal education who went on to develop a thriving tailoring business, invest in real estate, and by 1860, become one of the nation's wealthiest African Americans. In 1871, Jones was elected the first African American Commissioner for Cook County. 

Portrait of Mr. S. Vaughan

Image of portrait of Mr. S. Vaughan, oil painting, Sheldon Peck, ca. 1845
Sheldon Peck
(1797-1868, b. Cornwall VT, d. Lombard IL)
Portrait of Mr. S. Vaughan
ca. 1845
oil on canvas
framed and glazed 1967.68/106, Museum purchase
Sheldon Peck moved from upstate New York to Babcock's Grove (present day Lombard, Illinois) in 1837, living with his wife, Harriet, in a covered wagon while he built his farm house. He farmed and raised sheep while also traveling the Illinois countryside painting portraits. Peck was a self-taught artist. His portraits follow many of the conventions of the 19th century, with broad flat areas of color and a stiff and starched formality. Peck would paint his sitter’s face in person and then finish the clothing and backgrounds at his home.

Miniature Portrait of Isaac V. W. Dutcher

Image of miniature portrait of Isaac V.W. Ducher, watercolor on ivory in engraved gold case, Phillip Oscar Jenkins, 1841
Phillip Oscar Jenkins
(1819-1982, b. Hardin, Kentucky, d. Washington DC)
Miniature Portrait of Isaac V. W. Dutcher
1841
watercolor on ivory in engraved gold case height
1998.96, Illinois State Museum Society purchase 
This very fine miniature portrait is an example of a personal keepsake that could be carried or worn as jewelry as a memento of a friend or loved one in the days prior to photography. The artist, Philip Jenkins, was living in Kentucky at the time this portrait was thought to have been painted. The sitter, Isaac Dutcher, had recently moved to Quincy, Illinois, in 1838 from New York. 

Frank Pierson Richards

Image of General Grant on horseback, hand-carved and painted wood sculpture, Frank Pierson Richards, ca. 1880-1888
General Grant on Horseback
ca. 1880-1888
hand-carved and painted wood
Gift of Mr. & Mrs. Earl Richards, Springfield, Illinois
Frank P. Richards was a farmer living near Rochester, Illinois, who spent his evenings and winters carving. He quit farming and moved to Edinburg, Illinois, and eventually Springfield, Illinois, where he did odd jobs and became known as an inventor. 

Chicago River

Image of Chicago River, oil painting, Jean Crawford Adams, 1917
Jean Crawford Adams 
(1886-1972, b. Chicago IL, d. Oak Park IL)
Chicago River
1917
oil on canvas
1928.060.700643, museum purchase, Illinois Academy of Fine Art
In 1914, at age 28, Jean Crawford Adams began her training at the Art Institute of Chicago, continued her studies at the Provincetown School of Art in 1920, and finished in the 1920s in Paris. Throughout her career, Adams painted still-life and landscapes, acceptable subjects for a woman artist of her day, but her scenes of Chicago are what memorialize her.

Weathervane

Image of Weathervane, metal sculpture, L.Brent Kington, 1977
L.Brent Kington
(1934-2013, b. Topeka KS, d. Carbondale IL)
Weathervane
1977
forged steel
1977.063.005, museum purchase  
Trained as a silversmith and self-taught as a blacksmith, L. Brent Kington was a distinguished American master who is celebrated for reintroducing the ancient craft of blacksmithing to the modern world of fine art. In 1961, Kington came to Carbondale to lead the metals program at Southern Illinois University, where he offered the first studio iron classes in an academic setting anywhere in the country.

Measure Me by My Dreams

Image of The College of the Hills, Herod, Illinois, watercolor painting by Penrod Centurion, 1935.
The College in the Hills, Herod, Illinois
 
Penrod Centurion  
(1905- ?, b. Germany) 
Measure Me By My Dreams 
1935 
watercolor on paper 
1973.037.551, Gift of Miss Louise Borchelt
Young college graduates, largely from Northwestern University in Evanston, came to southernmost Illinois in 1933 and established a college just outside of Harrisburg. The College in the Hills was an experimental liberal arts college offering courses in history, economics, sociology, psychology, and art for the surrounding communities. Its mission, as stated in a newspaper announcement, was "to develop students capable of living in a modern world of new social and economic values.

Chromorfia Constructiva

Image of watercolor painting by Penrod Centurion, Chromorfia Constructiva #49-8-12-1, 1949.
Penrod Centurion
(1905 - ?, b. Germany) 
Chromorfia Constructiva #49-8-12-1
1949  Watercolor
Few abstract paintings are known to exist from this once prolific, German-born artist who immigrated to Chicago in 1926 and lived in Evanston, Illinois, until 1933. In 1934, Penrod Centurion, also known as “Penny Cent,” moved to southern Illinois to teach art at the College in the Hills, an experimental college near Harrisburg. In 1937, he received a stipend award from the Solomon Guggenheim Foundation in New York City for the Museum of Non-Objective Painting.

Death Portrait of Charlotta Richardson

Image of Death Portrait of Charlotta Richardson
Today in the United States, many people feel very uncomfortable looking at a death portrait. However, in earlier times, it was an accepted means of remembering and memorializing someone who had died. In the 19th century, many families lost children to accident and disease.

Remember Me is All I Ask

Image of Anna Pottery Cemetery Urn
The urn harks back to ancient Greek funeral cremation urns. The interest in Greece and Rome—the Neo-Classical Revivals of the 18th and 19th centuries—inspired architecture and decoration that emulated these ancient cultures.

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