Presidential Illinois Exhibition Opens at the Illinois State Museum


The Illinois State Museum announces its newest exhibition, Presidential Illinois, is now on view at its Springfield museum on the Capitol Complex.

The exhibition displays significant artifacts highlighting the four U.S. presidents who have called Illinois home: Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses S. Grant, Ronald Reagan, and Barack Obama.

For the first time, the public will have the opportunity to see the furniture Obama used in his office and his chamber chair from when he served in the Illinois State Senate. These items are on loan from the Illinois State Senate.

The exhibition also features other noteworthy items, including a signed copy of Obama’s speech in Springfield when he declared Joseph Biden his running mate. This item is on loan from the Old State Capitol State Historic Site.

Visitors can expect to see items such as Lincoln’s inkwell that he used in his Springfield law office. A campaign ribbon from Grant’s third presidential run in 1880, on loan from David Joens, is also on display. Additionally, museum guests can see Reagan campaign buttons worn by an Illinois delegate to the 1984 Republican National Convention.

“Illinois boasts a rich presidential history, which we are delighted to showcase in this exhibit,” said Erika Holst, curator of history at the Illinois State Museum. “We are excited to showcase some truly fascinating objects, including some never before seen.”

Presidential Illinois is on view through the end of March at the Illinois State Museum. The museum is open 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from noon to 4:30 p.m. Sunday. Admission is free for all visitors. Learn more at

About the Illinois State Museum

Established in 1877, the Illinois State Museum is a dynamic institution that inspires the exploration of Illinois’ past and present to inform and enrich everyday life and promote stewardship of cultural and natural resources. Headquartered in Springfield with branch facilities in Lewistown and Lockport, ISM is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and a proud member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience.

***Courtesy of the State of Illinois***

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