Exhibitions

The Illinois State Museum's extensive collections can be seen in both permanent and temporary exhibitions. Permanent exhibitions are always available, while temporary exhibitions rotate every few months.


Permanent
At Home in the Heartland Exhibit at ISM Springfield.
Listen to the stories of real people who lived in Illinois. Immerse yourself in the dramatic changes in household life over the past 300 years.
ISM Changes Exhibit
At Changes visitors will see, hear, and touch Illinois’ natural history through engaging hands-on interactive displays, audio and video effects, thousands of authentic fossils, and more. Marvel at all the strange and intriguing species that once inhabited Illinois through a multitude of life-size dioramas.
Peoples of the Past Exhibit at ISM Springfield.
Life-sized dioramas and finely crafted artifacts bring to life Illinois' rich Native American heritage.

Temporary
Dogs were the first domesticated species and have been human companions for over 16,000 years.
This exhibition highlights the career of Chicago artist Robert Middaugh (1935-2011). Middaugh paintings and assemblages presents us with strange, fantastic structures and machines inhabiting a mysterious, deserted world.
This exhibition includes work by artists from the Illinois State Museum's Illinois Legacy Collection who consider the built world as a poetic space. The artists look to buildings and interiors as a metaphor, making implied comparisons to architecture and human experience. Most strongly, these artists take what we perceive in the world—perceptual space—and alter it through artistic inventions into a psychological experience of place.