State Museum to Celebrate Gen X with Fall Exhibit

By Jeremy Coumbes on January 4, 2022 at 10:42am

Illinoisans who are members of Generation X are getting a moment in the sun later this year.

The Illinois State Museum has announced plans to debut a new exhibition entitled “Growing Up X”, which is set to open at the Springfield facility in October.

Illinois State Museum Curator of History, Erika Holst says organizers think it’s time Gen X got some love. She says Between Boomers and Millennials lies Generation X, which is often referred to as the “Forgotten Generation” and is the last generation to have had a completely analog childhood.

According to the announcement, the exhibit will feature cultural touchstones that shaped this generation’s youth which will be brought to life through photos and memories of Illinoisans who grew up X.

Holst, who is herself a Gen X’er, says the goal is to dig into the experience of being a child in the ’70s, 80’s and ’90s. And how growing up adapting to new technology, often unsupervised, in the shadow of the Cold War, Reaganomics, Just Say No, and the AIDS crisis shaped this generation who are now coming into their own in middle age.

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