Illinois State Museum plans Growing Up X exhibition

Jamila Wicks
Illinois State Museum plans Growing Up X exhibition
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — The Illinois State Museum announces plans to give Generation X its moment in the sun with the debut of a new exhibition, Growing Up X, scheduled to open in October 2022 at its Springfield facility. 

Between Boomers and Millennials lies Generation X, the often overlooked “Forgotten Generation.” It is the last generation to have had an analog childhood. 

“We think it’s time Gen X got some love,” said Illinois State Museum Curator of History Erika Holst, herself a Gen Xer. “Beyond that, we want to dig into the experience of being a child in the ’70s, ’80s and ’90s. How did growing up adapting to new technology, often unsupervised, in the shadow of the Cold War, Reaganomics, Just Say No and the AIDS crisis shape this generation of people who are now coming into their own in middle age?” 

The exhibition will feature the cultural touchstones that shaped this generation’s youth brought to life through photos and memories of Illinoisans who grew up X. 

As part of the planning process, the Illinois State Museum asks Illinoisans born between 1965 and 1980 to submit photos, memories and objects that define their youth for display in the exhibition. 

Illinois Gen Xers can fill out a survey and submit photos by visiting or contacting Holst 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. Learn more at 


Follow IDNR on Facebook and Twitter