Brown Bag Lecture: Eleanor Spiess-Ferris’ New Exhibit

Free and open to the public.

Come explore the work of Chicago figurative artist Eleanor Spiess-Ferris in a lively presentation that will look at the influences, ideas, and references in her paintings. We will also look at the history of narrative painting and talk about the various artist movements that come to bear on her signature style.

Eleanor Spiess-Ferris (b. 1941, Las Vegas, NM. Reside, Chicago IL) is known for her distinctive approach to the figure, almost always women, who perform in dramatic settings. Her women are divas; larger than life, central to the story, and, like all good heroines, beset by adversaries and circumstance. Spiess-Ferris’s work is unique in Chicago art history in her attention to the narrative body. The art historical roots of her work dig deep into Mannerist and Baroque arts attenuation of form and emotional atmosphere; Symbolist and Surrealist approaches to the fantastic, unreal situation; and Feminist thought in the conflation of personal and political realities of women through history.

This talk is concurrent with an exhibition of Spiess-Ferris’s work in the Illinois State Museum’s second floor gallery. Exhibition runs October 25, 2019 through February 16, 2020.

Bring your lunch and join us for a different speaker and topic on the third Wednesday of each month. Brown Bag Lectures are held at the ISM Research & Collections Center at 1011 E. Ash St. in Springfield. The Collections Center must be accessed via the gate on Ash St. and approached from 11th Street or further east due to the rail closure at Ash and 10 ½ Streets.

Story Time: Creatures of the Night

Some animals are only active at night. People often think of them as mysterious or creepy, but most of them are very helpful to humans. Come learn about these fascinating creatures that are awake when we are asleep through stories and a craft!

Story Time is designed for preschool children ages 3-5 and their caregivers. On the second Tuesday of each month, visitors will enjoy picture books, a craft, and objects from the Museum’s collections.Story Time is sponsored by Bank of Springfield.

Tales from the Vault: Taxidermy

Free, Donations Appreciated

Animal taxidermy has been a part of museum exhibits from the early “Cabinets of Curiosities” to today’s naturalistic landscape dioramas. This presentation will explore the history of animal taxidermy and the development of museum natural history displays, with examples from the Illinois State Museum’s current and former exhibits. Taxidermy mounts from the State Museum Zoology collections will be displayed.

“Tales from the Vault” is a collaborative program hosted by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum and the Illinois State Museum which allows the public to discover some of the treasures from these institutions’ collections. Each program will include the chance to view an artifact or document not normally on display, commentary by a staff member or local scholar, and a chance for group discussion. All programs are free and open to the public.

The Research & Collection Center is located at 1011 E. Ash Street in Springfield. The Collections Center must be accessed via the gate on Ash St. and approached from 11th Street or further east due to the rail closure at Ash and 10 ½ Streets.

Family Halloween Members Event

Members Only free event. Please register.

Don your costume and come to the Museum for an afternoon of family fun. Activities will include “bobbing” for apples, Halloween crafts, and fun creepy creature films in the Auditorium. Participants can enjoy a flashlight tour of the “Play Museum in the Dark” decked out for the holiday.

If you are not a member you can also join the Society or renew your membership while registering.

Brown Bag Lecture: Northern Greece, Albania and North Mecedonia

Richard Leary will present The Past Tense and the Present (is still) Tense: Travel in Northern Greece, Albania and North Mecedonia, a trip that covered an immense period of time, from the Neolithic to the political and economic tensions of the present. He visited Greek, Roman and Byzantine ruins, churches and museums–witnessing the results of 500 years of Ottoman oppression as well as Nazi and communistic oppression. Enjoy tales of lovely scenery, good food, and great wines. Join us for a taste of the history and scenery… but not the food and wine.

Bring your lunch and join us for a different speaker and topic on the third Wednesday of each month. Brown Bag Lectures are held at the ISM Research & Collections Center at 1011 E. Ash St. in Springfield. The Collections Center must be accessed via the gate on Ash St. and approached from 11th Street or further east due to the rail closure at Ash and 10 ½ Streets.

Story Time: I Spy

I spy with my little eye… shapes and colors! Shapes and colors are all around us, found in nature and in art. What shapes and colors can you find in our stories and craft?

Story Time is designed for preschool children ages 3-5 and their caregivers. On the second Tuesday of each month, visitors will enjoy picture books, a craft, and objects from the Museum’s collections.  Story Time is sponsored by Bank of Springfield.

Admission: $5 for adults ages 19-64; free admission for Members, youth, seniors, military, and veterans

Super Saturday: Get Creative

Come celebrate all the ways that people can express their creativity in their free time. Learn about hobbies and crafts with displays, games, and crafts. In addition to trying various arts and crafts with hands-on activities, visitors will enjoy an exhibit of photographs, art, quilts, and more created by ISM staff as part of the Springfield Area Arts Council’s On My Own Time program. Members of the Prairie Weavers Guild will be demonstrating weaving and spinning in honor of National Spinning and Weaving Week. You are sure to go home inspired to get creative at home.

Super Saturdays offer thematic activities recommended for children ages 5 and up each month. Activities take 30-40 minutes to complete and are included with Museum admission. Parents and families are encouraged to participate. Sponsored by Bank of Springfield.

Admission: $5 for adults ages 19-64; free admission for Members, youth, seniors, military, and veterans

Paul Mickey Learning Series: Ogden-Fettie Floodplain Earthwork Complex

Presented by Michael Wiant, Ken Farnsworth, Montana Martin, Kelvin Sampson.

Ogden-Fettie is among the oldest Native American floodplain earthwork complexes in the Midwest. While preparing the property for long-term hay production, archaeologists had an opportunity to collect artifacts from the site. When combined with previous archaeological work at the site, the results provide perspective on the rise of Havana culture circa 2,100 B.P., subsequent use of the site, and a long-standing theory that several of the mounds were encompassed by a moat. When this study is coupled with new research on artifacts collected by the Odgen family, we learn that the Ogden-Fettie site is a key to our understanding of Havana culture and its domination of the Illinois River valley for nearly four centuries.

Each month, the Paul Mickey Learning Series features a different speaker and topic in the Auditorium at the Illinois State Museum.

The series is free but donations are gladly accepted.

Music at the Museum

The Music at the Museum Concert series welcomes roots musician/songwriter Ivas John to the stage in the auditorium of the Illinois State Museum. A musician with local roots and worldly chops and purist who can play the dirtiest blues, Ivas John is a musician’s musician. He has a style of effortless authenticity that is both a breath of fresh air and a link to days of yore, imbued with the same sense of timelessness as the shores of the Mississippi River he now calls home.

Born as a first generation Lithuanian American into a music-loving Chicago home, his earliest influences came from European folk dancing, melodies hammered out on the family piano, and playing trumpet in the school band. Long before picking up the guitar, taking to the country, and becoming the public figure Ivas John, his musical future was being shaped, at least in part, by the living room record player. In his teens, Ivas got hooked on blues guitar and began making forays to the inner city clubs to get a fix. By means of jamming along with the available record collections, and the sporadic tutelage of his older brother, he learned to play.

In the early years, John was known exclusively for playing the electric blues with finesse, and a maturity well beyond his age. While away at Southern Illinois University, he earned a place in the local music scene, and began backing blues luminaries three times his age. About that time, a new side of Ivas emerged writing, arranging, and performing original music. In historic Cape Girardeau, MO the roll of the Mississippi towed him under the influence of past masters in folk and country music. Ivas studied the world of Woody Guthrie, Jimmie Rodgers, Doc Watson, The Delmore Brothers, and Balladeers like Tom Paxton and Gordon Lightfoot. While immersing himself in the techniques of acoustic flatpicking and fingerstyle guitar, he began to traverse the vast musical landscape of his surroundings, bringing to life dusty, forgotten visions of the American past with elegant acuity.

Ivas’ most recent project, Good Days A Comin, put him on the map in the world of acoustic music. No Drepression Magazine said “Ivas John is a young man with the heart of a venerable troubadour. The music is chock full of authenticity and a joy to behold.” While Flatpicking Guitar Magazine “wonderful” and his voice and guitar work “bold, distinct, and refreshing.”

The Music at the Museum Concerts are hosted by Illinois singer/songwriter Chris Vallillo and take place every 2nd Thursday of the month all year long at the Illinois State Museum Auditorium. Concerts start at 7:00 pm, admission is $10.00 for adults and $8.00 for museum members and kids under 12. There will be a variety of desserts and drinks available during the break. Performers of the series stay at the Carpenter Street Hotel in Springfield.

You can see the full 2019 Music at the Museum schedule at www.museumconcerts.com.

Music at the Museum

The Sweet Potatoes come out of Southern California to dish up their own unique blend of country, folk and homespun Americana. Featuring acoustic guitars, accordion and harmonica, their music has a back porch charm all its own.

Kelly Macleod (songwriter, guitar, and vocals) and Laura Hall (songwriter, guitar, accordion and vocals) and Rick Hall (bass, harmonica and vocals) have all been in show business in one way or another for years. Kelly cut her teeth singing in the band Private Life. Laura is best known as the pianist on the long running hit TV show, Whose Line Is It Anyway, while Rick’s day job is as an actor on TV, doing everything from Centrum commercials, to NCIS. Kelly and Laura write write original songs rooted in the family ties that made them the women they are today; songs about finding and appreciating love, having faith, family and home.

$10.00 per person, $8.00 for museum members and kids under 12

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