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New Role For Governor’s Mansion: Art Gallery

The Illinois Governor’s Mansion is recently renovated and has re-opened for tourists, who tend to go for the historical significance. There’s also a new reason for art enthusiasts to check it out.

The Art of Illinois exhibition features works from the 1800s up until 2016. The works include musical instruments, furniture, and many paintings. Justin Blandford is the mansion curator, he says the idea is to have the building serve as a "world class fully functioning museum."

The work is viewable during normal tour hours and takes up two floors. Art historian Wendy Greenhouse was a co-curator. She gathered portraits, landscapes, and representational as well as well as abstract art. Greenhouse said she was intent on being inclusive, "Artists of color and women artists, in particular, was something I was very focused on." The art will be up through January, and Blandford says the goal is to continue to show various art collections at the mansion. 

Chris Pappan, heard in this story, is one of the handful of living artists with work in the Art of Illinois exhibit.  In Chicago, where he lives, the Field Museum is showing his workuntil January 2019 in the Native Exhibit hall.

Rachel Otwell of the Illinois Times is a former NPR Illinois reporter.
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