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About the International Collection of Child Art

The International Collection of Child Art’s origins and history are intertwined with the history of Illinois State University, an institution whose founding premise is rooted in education and diversity.  Dr. F. Louis Hoover, Illinois State University distinguished professor of art emeritus, and former University Museum Director, initiated the original children’s art collection in the 1960s with over 3,000 artworks, more than 300 collected from public schools in Illinois.

Under the direction of Dr. Barry Moore, emeritus professor of art, the resource of children’s artworks grew to include the work of young artists from other countries.  In the 1970s Dr. Moore developed liaison relationships with UNICEF and the Christian Children’s Fund and the collection became a repository for international artworks donated from these organizations and others.  Throughout this period the International Collection of Child Art earned accreditation from the American Association of Museums and was part of Illinois State University’s University Museum collections.  The collection grew to its current size and scope under the developmental direction of Dr. Moore.  For additional information about Dr. Moore and his work with the collection, please read Susan Marquardt Blystone’s interview published in Illinois State: for Alumni of Illinois State University magazine, reprinted here with permission.

Since 2000, this spirited collection has been located in the Special Collections of Milner Library.  Under the library’s stewardship, the collection is thriving and available to student researchers, academic scholars from across disciplines, and a wider public interested in viewing, learning about, and appreciating the imaginative vision that shapes a child’s creative pursuits.  Current Library initiatives for the collection are focused on digitizing the artworks to enhance access to this visually rich multicultural primary source.

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