Illinois State University Milner Library's International Collection of Child Art (ICCA) celebrates the creativity and innovative work produced by children with a global perspective.
Thought provoking representations of whimsical animals, fanciful portraits, musings on daily life, enchanting landscapes, and other imaginative themes provide a window for the viewer to share the often magical outlook of a child.
The work in this collection reflects the energy and inventiveness young artists bring to art-making and the profoundly imaginative vision they use to create images. The collection holds over 8,600 original works of art made by children representing more than fifty countries and cultures.
Many images include an audio description of the artwork. The audio description project was funded via a grant provided by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. For more information about the audio descriptions or artwork, please contact April Anderson-Zorn, University Archivist.
The International Collection of Child Art's origins and history are intertwined with Illinois State University's history, 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.
In the early 1970s, Dr. Barry Moore (1933-2014) expanded his full-time teaching responsibilities at Illinois State University to curate the fledgling International Collection of Child Art. His appreciation of children's visual expressions was a natural extension of his expertise in education and preparing students to teach art in the classroom. Dr. Moore also pursued liaison relationships with UNICEF and the Christian Children's Fund, which eventually led to the expansion of the collection when it became the repository for international artworks donated from these organizations. The International Collection of Child Art later earned accreditation from the American Association of Museums and was part of the Illinois State University's Museum collections.
Collected by the Christian Children’s Fund between 1973 and 1974, these works show the blending of Christian and local traditions, such Christmastime drawings of baby Jesus in a lotus blossom.
Abstract expressionism became one of the dominant artistic styles in the West in the years following WWII. These 1950s-era works reflect the feelings and anxieties of the mostly teenage artists.
Peaceful scenes of parks, farmland, natural areas, and small villages collected between 1969 and 1989.
The children of the Taos Pueblo Day School in New Mexico used brightly colored water-based paints to create these pieces between 1970 and 1971.
Portions of the International Collection of Child Art are digitized thanks to funding from the Illinois State Library and the Institute of Museum and Library Services.
The Friends of Milner Library provided support for the International Collection of Child Art through several grant-funded projects.
Jeffrey Allan's Custom Framing provided excellent service at a discounted rate in support of the traveling exhibits from the International Collection of Child Art.
Illinois State University's Research and Sponsored Programs provided support for continued research and development of the International Collection of Child Art.
Illinois State University's Milner Library supports and promotes access to a wide-ranging collection of resources embracing multiple aspects of creative expression.