Peoria Riverfront Museum's Permanent Collection includes Fine Art and Folk Art - with many works by nationally and internationally known artists - and Natural Sciences, with hundreds of examples of the earth sciences. The first donations of archaeological and geological specimens were accepted in 1964 and the collections have continued to grow through donation, purchase and bequest, currently numbering over 16,000 works.

Collection Highlights

We collect objects and works of art that by themselves are of historic or contemporary significance or are by artists of historic or contemporary significance. Our collection is comprised of works from the United States and Europe, with an emphasis on pieces from Illinois and the Midwest. The collection represents the Museum’s legacy for the future; it forms the foundation for the Museum’s role in the community as a center for the study and appreciation of art and science.

Permanent Collection categories:

  • Fine Arts (paintings, sculptures, works on paper)
  • Decorative Arts (furniture, ceramics, metal, glass, textiles)
  • Folk Art (paintings, sculptures, graphics, decorative arts, etc.)
  • Ethnographic Arts (Native American, African, Oceanic, Asian)
  • Natural Sciences (mineralogy, geology, entomology, conchology)
  • Dispersed Exhibits (Duryea car, theater/opera poster collection, square dancing)

Provenance Project

Following guidelines set forth by the American Association of Museums in April 2001, Peoria Riverfront Museum initiated the European Provenance Research Project in 2009 to identify provenance information on the 60 European paintings, prints and drawings in Peoria Riverfront Museum's collection that may have been purchased, sold, or created during the World War II era. Click here for more info.

Permanent Collections Gallery

One gallery of the museum is devoted to the rotating displays of works from the Museum’s Permanent Collection. Due to space limitations, not all works from the permanent collections are on display at any given time, so if you are interested in viewing a particular collection, please call ahead to confirm what will be on view at the time of your visit.