Rare decoys, top medical inventions, LEGO art and Leonardo da Vinci lead the Peoria Riverfront Museum’s “Year of Invention.” Throughout 2019, the museum plans special exhibitions, events and programming designed to inspire Central Illinoisans through innovation and achievement in art, science and history.
The exhibition line-up features “American Decoy: The Invention” and “10 Medical Inventions That Changed the World,” opening Feb. 9, “The Art of the Brick,” presented by CEFCU, the world’s largest LEGO art exhibition, opening May 25, and “Da Vinci the Genius” with “The Secrets of Mona Lisa,” opening Nov. 16.
“As the museum prepares to lead our community in the ‘Year of Invention,’ our board has authorized the strongest lineup of exhibitions and programs possible to inspire the appreciation of our own history of invention and more importantly to unleash the full talent and genius of our community,” said John D. Morris, museum president and CEO.
A nationally significant art exhibition organized by the Peoria Riverfront Museum, “American Decoy: The Invention,” sponsored by DVI, celebrates the uniquely American art form with decoys from the Museum's permanent collection and key works from the Tom Figge Collection, Joe and Donna Tonelli, Ted and Judy Harmon of Decoys Unlimited, Inc., Ward Museum, Shelburne Museum and Illinois State Museum.
“American Decoy: The Invention” represents the most valuable collection of art since the museum’s predecessor, Lakeview Museum of Arts and Sciences, exhibited ‘The Passion of Rodin,’” said Morris.
Recently, the flagship of the Peoria Riverfront Museum’s permanent collection, the Duryea Motor Trap, received a $100,000 commitment in programming sponsorships. The Duryea, invented in Peoria Heights in 1898-99, was the first gasoline powered car to be sold commercially. The Duryea sponsorship comes through the Rucker Family Foundation. Peoria author Mike Rucker, a long-time museum and STEM supporter, made the gift.
“In terms of creative genius, Charles and Frank Duryea ranks at the top. These two brothers from Central Illinois were the first to mass produce automobiles,” said Rucker. “I am pleased to have been involved with the campaign to ‘Bring Home the Duryea’ and have it displayed at Peoria Riverfront Museum.”
For more information on the exhibitions or about the museum, call 309.686.7000 or visit RiverfrontMuseum.org.
Peoria Riverfront Museum
The only multidisciplinary museum of its kind in the nation, the Peoria Riverfront Museum uses art, science, history, and achievement to inspire confidence, lifelong learning, and talent. Since opening in 2012, the privately funded museum has provided more than one million experiences through major exhibitions, a permanent collection, interactive galleries, a dome planetarium, giant screen theater, and educational programming including curricula-related student visits. The AAM-accredited, Smithsonian-affiliated private nonprofit museum is supported by more than 4,000 members and donors, and is housed in a county-owned LEED Gold-certified building on a campus overlooking the Illinois River. The museum has been designated one of the 200 great places in Illinois by the American Institute of Architects.