Jackson County


Image of painting, Aftermath, Carolyn Plochmann, 2002.

Aftermath, 2002
Carolyn Plochmann (1926- )
acrylic on canvas

Born in Toledo, Ohio, in 1926, Carolyn moved to Carbondale, Illinois, in 1949 to teach art at the Allyn Training School at Southern Illinois University. After marrying George Plochmann in 1950, Carolyn became a full-time studio artist, spent her summers in Woodstock, New York, and was represented by the Kennedy Galleries in New York from 1970-2005.

Rocking Chair

Image of Windsor-style rocking chair that belonged to Conrad Will, namesake of Will County.
This Windsor-style rocking chair belonged to Conrad Will, a co-author of Illinois’ 1818 constitution and the namesake of Will County.


Image of metal sculpture, Icarus, by L. Brent Kington, 1981
Southern Illinois’ most well-known blacksmith-artist-teacher, Brent Kington (1934-2013), created unconventional works of art from blacksmithing for over 45 years while teaching at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.


Image of Weathervane, metal sculpture, L.Brent Kington, 1977
L.Brent Kington
(1934-2013, b. Topeka KS, d. Carbondale IL)
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.

Ceramic Figurine

Image of ceramic figurine from Jackson Co
Willie Smith found this elegant, 2,000-year-old fired-clay figurine in Jackson County in 1950. It portrays a woman with a distinctive hairstyle, and she's seated with one leg crossed over the other. It appears that there is no hair on the right side of her head. Hair on the top and left side of her head appears to be drawn together, and what may be a braid extends to her left shoulder. There appear to be circular disks attached to her earlobes. Identified as ear-spools, archeologists have recovered examples of these spools made from bone, stone, and sometimes copper.
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