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posted: 7/26/2013 11:58 AM

Wheaton museum extends Illinois Folk Art exhibit

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The DuPage County Historical Museum exhibit "Early Illinois Folk Art, 1825-1925" has been extended to Sunday, Oct. 27. This is the largest changing exhibit the museum has ever presented, occupying three floors of displays.

The exhibit opened to the public Saturday, April 13. Since then, the museum has seen more than 2,700 visitors and hosted nine tours and seven lectures and workshops. Upcoming exhibit events include a special open house from 6 to 9 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 19, at the museum, 102 E. Wesley Street, Wheaton; and "Wau-Bun: A Travelogue with Juliette Kinzie" from 1 to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 10. All programs and events are free, but reservations are requested.

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More than 100 different artifacts from duck decoys to whirligigs are on view, including six Sheldon Peck paintings. Peck, a well-known itinerant portrait artist of the 19th century, settled in the area now known as Lombard. This exhibit is the first time six Peck paintings have been displayed in one location in Illinois.

Museum Curator Sara Arnas believes the exhibit offers an interesting perspective on Illinois history.

"These objects help us understand the everyday life of people living in our state during an important time in history," she said.

Arranging the exhibit gave the DuPage County Historical Museum staff the opportunity to work with other Illinois museums. Planning began two years ago. In addition to informative displays, the exhibit features learning stations -- created by Arnas, museum educator Sara Buttita and visitor services coordinator Michelle Podkowa -- designed for younger visitors. For example, families can enjoy the interactive elements of a portrait studio and community quilt. These interactive stations along with the series of programs and events were made possible through a grant from the DuPage Community Foundation. Tours of the exhibit can be scheduled with staff for a small fee before the exhibit closes.

For information, visit dupagemuseum.org or call (630) 510-4941.

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