Illinois State Museum's 'Growing Up X' Exhibit an Analog Throwback in Lockport

Illinois State Museum's 'Growing Up X' Exhibit an Analog Throwback in LockportSource: Illinois State Museum
Jo Marquez
Published on November 23, 2023

The Illinois State Museum's beloved Growing Up X savors a slice of generational pie, dishing out a buffet of bygone joys for both the ones who lived it and the younglings curious about the era without smartphones.

Erika Holst, the Museum's Curator of History announced the exhibition's triumphant strut to their Lockport gallery, revealing, "If you ever made a mix tape or memorized a phone number, we hope you'll come to enjoy this trip down memory lane."

Growing Up X isn't just a showcase; it's a deep dive into the tangible and intangible relics of the '70s and '80s. There's a veritable cornucopia of Gen X treasures that range from the clunky Apple IIe computer to the snuggly Teddy Ruxpin and, yes, parachute pants. It's a gallery where the Vietnam War, the Cold War, and the entirety of the War on Drugs aren't just footnotes in a history book but brushstrokes on the canvas of a generation.

Museum-goers can plop down, pop in a VHS movie, bang on some video game buttons, or spin a cassette tape. Crowning this kingdom of cool is a jukebox, juiced up and ready for visitors to queue up those killer throwback beats. Thrown in for good measure are interactive screens broadcasting everything from commercials that sell feelings in a 30-second slot to news clips that deliver history in the making as the museum told

The Illinois State Museum invites everyone to a reception and gallery talk from the nostalgic nirvana that will unfold from 2-4 p.m. Saturday, Dec. 2 at the Lockport Gallery. Admission is free.