Peoria Riverfront Museum opens two new exhibitions, "Railroaders: Jack Delano’s Homefront Photography," and “Treasures of the Peoria Riverfront Museum Collection: Design & Duplication,” Friday, Oct. 8, in addition to announcing the extension of “T. rex: The Ultimate Predator” through Jan. 16.
Photographer and documentarian Jack Delano’s masterwork takes visitors on a striking visual and emotional journey through World War II era 1940s on the U.S. Homefront with a series of black-and-white and color photographs of railroad workers.
Delano’s work transforms the trials and gritty everyday life of railroaders into a poignant and dramatic story of the Homefront war effort, when railroads were vital to transporting personnel and supplies where needed.
“Railroaders is not about trains, but about people,” said Peoria native and exhibition sponsor Bon French, chairman of the Center for Railroad Photography & Art and chairman emeritus of the Chicago History Museum. “These photos represent an important part of the war effort from 1942 through 1943 as the government was trying to communicate the importance of everyone’s role at home.”
“What makes this exhibition unique is that the curators of the Center for Railroad Photography and Art tracked down the descendants of each person depicted in the exhibition photos to find out their stories. The exhibition highlights these stories, including the reminisces of the family members,” he added.
French will go behind the scenes of the history of the exhibition, “Railroaders: Their Stories, Then & Now” as he presents the real stories of the railroaders.
“Railroaders” runs from October 8 through January 2. The Peoria Riverfront Museum gratefully acknowledges exhibition presenter, Holly & Bon French with additional support provided by Visionary Society and Illinois Arts Council Agency. “Railroaders: Jack Delano’s Homefront Photography” is organized by the Center for Railroad Photography & Art in partnership with Chicago History Museum.
Also opening from the Riverfront Museum’s private collection is “Treasures of the Peoria Riverfront Museum Collection: Design & Duplication.” “Design & Duplication” is the first time curators have presented such a close look into a cross section of extraordinary artistic works, scientific objects, historic relics and achievement-related stories.
“This is an exciting and unprecedented time for the museum,” said Peoria Riverfront Museum President & CEO John Morris. "Bringing ‘Railroaders’ and ‘Design & Duplication’ to join ‘T. rex’ is an incredible achievement by our board and staff. The stunning photographic portraits featured in 'Railroaders' will open a window into the character of our nation. ‘Design & Duplication’ is a first-of-its-kind presentation that is only possible because of the uniquely multidisciplinary museum and, of course, by the generosity of those who gave these objects to the museum.”
The cost for general museum admission is $9 for adults, $8 for students and seniors 60+, and $7 for youth 3 to 17; members get in free (“T. rex” exhibition is an extra charge). Dome Planetarium shows are included with admission. Giant Screen Theater experience is extra. The museum welcomes Blue Star Museum families, Museums for All and public library pass holders.
For more information about the exhibition, upcoming programs or membership, or to purchase exhibition or movie tickets or a membership, call 309.686.7000 or visit RiverfrontMuseum.org.
About the 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.