SPRINGFIELD — Officials at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum are planning a new exhibit highlighting one of Illinois' political dynasties with roots in Bloomington.
In a move that could coincide with next year's 50th anniversary of the death of former Gov. Adlai Stevenson II, the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency has hired a company to begin creating exhibits associated with the Stevenson family.
The Evanston-based design firm of Teller Madsen primarily will work with papers, memorabilia and other objects donated to the agency by Stevenson's son, former U.S. Sen. Adlai Stevenson III.
The exhibit also could include references to Adlai Stevenson I, who was vice president of the United States in the 1890s, as well as campaign material from the various elections the family was involved in over the course of a century.
"The quality of material available for creating an exhibition is very, very high," said Greg Koos, executive director of the McLean County Museum of History that also has a collection of Stevenson artifacts.
Adlai Stevenson II was born in California in 1900, but grew up in Bloomington and later worked at his family newspaper, The Pantagraph, as a reporter and editor.
He served one term as Illinois governor, from 1949 to 1953, and ran twice for president in 1952 and 1956 on the Democratic ticket. He was U.S. ambassador to the United Nations from 1961 until his death on July 14, 1965 while in London.
Stevenson III also had an extensive political career, including serving in the U.S. Senate from 1970 to 1981.
"It is important political history," said Koos, adding there have been initial discussions about also using Stevenson-related material held by the county historical museum, as well as Illinois State University.
The design company, which will be paid $19,900 for a contract running through January 2015,already has completed exhibits associated with Stevenson II at his former home near Libertyville.
Other exhibits by the company include work on the Metamora Courthouse and Fort Massac historic sites in Illinois and the Biltmore Mansion in Asheville, N.C.
An opening date for the exhibit was not immediately available Monday.