Ideas for All

  • Build Your Own Model
    At the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency, you can build your own model of a historic Illinois home or building. For example, build a model of the Gardner Museum in Quincy, a Romanesque Revival style building designed in 1888, or the Old Main building in Galesburg, where Lincoln and Douglas held debates in 1858. Print out the model and construct the building by adhering the building pictures to cardstock, cutting them out, and fitting them together. There are tabs to secure the pieces. Lots of directions.
  • Loaves – Painting Composition Activity
    An online art activity called Loaves – Painting Composition Activity uses Illinois artist Macena Barton’s painting in the Illinois State Museum collection for inspiration and guidance.
  • Cast of Characters: Three Chicago Painters Activity
    The Illinois State Museum's educational resources features works by Gertrude Abercrombie and Julia Thecla from the 1930s. Their self-portraits are compared in the exercise called Self-ish Subject. What do these self-portraits tell you about the artist’s self-image? The Lost in Space activity describes how these artists create space and mood in their paintings. The World is a Stage treats paintings as a stage set. Activities and Resources provides ideas for projects to try.
  • Rain Forest Explorer
    Young children examine a mural painted by Ethel Spears in 1939 and learn about the mural’s subject, botanist Carl von Linne. Then they become explorers and classifiers of a natural environment, the rain forest, and apply what they learned about observing in several activities. For more information please visit Chicago - The City in Art
  • Historical Style Show with a Twist

    Tell the stories of the women in your city, match models with the women of the past, add costumes of the times, and a luncheon from century-old recipes, and what do you have? An entertaining celebration of women and history.

    In Peoria they call it A Salute to Women. The historical style show and luncheon are put on by the Peoria Historical Society every other year for an audience of 500. Volunteers do the research to locate women who helped shape their community. Then they invite models whose careers or experiences connect with the women of Peoria’s past. For example, Margaret West Kinney was a portrait painter and book illustrator at the turn of the 20th century. To portray her, they asked a contemporary Peoria artist to model. Clara Bourland started the Ladies Art Society in 1873 and she was played by a woman who devotes her energy and talents to originating and keeping alive Peoria’s art and civic organizations, just as Clara Bourland did. Jessie Page who brought the YWCA to Peoria in the 1890s was portrayed by today’s YWCA executive director. Ardella Brown, Peoria’s leading suffragist, was played by a Peoria City Council member. Artist and teacher Juliette Whittaker gave Richard Pryor his first stage role in a play she wrote. For the style show, she was portrayed by today’s school district fine arts director.

    The Historical Society committee researched the fashions the women would have worn, located or made vintage outfits, found authentic undergarments and accessories, and tracked down props to help the models portray their characters as they walked the runway. They found menus from Gathered Crumbs (the Peoria Women’s Club’s 1888 cookbook) and updated the recipes for today’s palettes. They wrote a script and found a perfect narrator, staged the production, and found a pianist to play appropriate music.

    The Peoria Style Show offers a unique opportunity to learn history through the experiences of the women who lived it. With themed events, the audience experiences new aspects of historical fashion, culinary arts, womanly behaviors or roles.

    The title of the latest style show was “Smiling and Beguiling, a look back on our wise and wonderful womanly wiles!” The narrator began the event saying: “You know, we Peoria women have Attitude! We’re a brave and spirited bunch. We’re smart. We’re resilient. Resourceful and generous. Always have been…even a century or two ago when it was difficult for women to get things done. Even then, Peoria women found ways to make their lives work, no matter what. They collaborated and strategized, outwitted, cajoled, and simply worked harder to accomplish what they wanted. With imagination and skill, they created full lives for themselves. This morning we’ll meet 28 remarkable women who helped shape our community.”

    What a Salute to Women!

    For more information, email us at illinoiswomenartists@comcast.net. Please let us know about your events. We’ll share your ideas with our IWA community.

  • Historical Style Show with a Twist

    Tell the stories of the women in your city, match models with the women of the past, add costumes of the times, and a luncheon from century-old recipes, and what do you have? An entertaining celebration of women and history.

    In Peoria they call it A Salute to Women. The historical style show and luncheon are put on by the Peoria Historical Society every other year for an audience of 500. Volunteers do the research to locate women who helped shape their community. Then they invite models whose careers or experiences connect with the women of Peoria’s past. For example, Margaret West Kinney was a portrait painter and book illustrator at the turn of the 20th century. To portray her, they asked a contemporary Peoria artist to model. Clara Bourland started the Ladies Art Society in 1873 and she was played by a woman who devotes her energy and talents to originating and keeping alive Peoria’s art and civic organizations, just as Clara Bourland did. Jessie Page who brought the YWCA to Peoria in the 1890s was portrayed by today’s YWCA executive director. Ardella Brown, Peoria’s leading suffragist, was played by a Peoria City Council member. Artist and teacher Juliette Whittaker gave Richard Pryor his first stage role in a play she wrote. For the style show, she was portrayed by today’s school district fine arts director.

    The Historical Society committee researched the fashions the women would have worn, located or made vintage outfits, found authentic undergarments and accessories, and tracked down props to help the models portray their characters as they walked the runway. They found menus from Gathered Crumbs (the Peoria Women’s Club’s 1888 cookbook) and updated the recipes for today’s palettes. They wrote a script and found a perfect narrator, staged the production, and found a pianist to play appropriate music.

    The Peoria Style Show offers a unique opportunity to learn history through the experiences of the women who lived it. With themed events, the audience experiences new aspects of historical fashion, culinary arts, womanly behaviors or roles.

    The title of the latest style show was “Smiling and Beguiling, a look back on our wise and wonderful womanly wiles!” The narrator began the event saying: “You know, we Peoria women have Attitude! We’re a brave and spirited bunch. We’re smart. We’re resilient. Resourceful and generous. Always have been…even a century or two ago when it was difficult for women to get things done. Even then, Peoria women found ways to make their lives work, no matter what. They collaborated and strategized, outwitted, cajoled, and simply worked harder to accomplish what they wanted. With imagination and skill, they created full lives for themselves. This morning we’ll meet 28 remarkable women who helped shape our community.”

    What a Salute to Women!

    For more information, email us at illinoiswomenartists@comcast.net. Please let us know about your events. We’ll share your ideas with our IWA community.

  • Artist Antoinette Hollister's Art and Nature Project

    Developed in 1900 by artist and teacher Antoinette Hollister, this project combines the study of science, nature and literature with art-making. It was designed for Winnetka, IL teachers and parents and published with the title Art Expression for Primary Grades in The Course of Study, a Monthly Publication for Teachers and Parents:

    "The art expression for primary grades will grow principally out of the work done in nature study. The topography of the Winnetka region is to be crudely represented in miniature by a clay model. For this work the children will be divided into groups, and each group will model in the field one of the areas, all of the groups co-operating afterward in making the model of the whole region.

    "Material will be brought from the field to illustrate the characteristic flora of these various areas, and careful studies will be made of them at school.

    "In the later work in the field, sketches will be made of trees, shrubs, or herbs whose presence in this region is significant.

    "Studies in detail of these plants will show their adaptation to soil and atmospheric conditions.

    "At the same time the children will study the animal life of this locality and the inter-relation of the plant and animal life, recording with paint or clay their observations as to how the plants are aided by the animals, how injured by them, and with what devices nature protects plants from the ravages of animals.

    In order to show the manner and rate of growth of twigs and plants, they will be painted or modeled repeatedly at intervals from the beginning to the end of the school term.

    "Literature--Children will be encouraged to reinforce oral expression with art expression, to illustrate stories as they tell them. They will express, also, in this way the throught acquired from the printed page.

    "Some of this work will be given in the form of games."