'Portrait of a Soldier' now traveling display
"Portrait of a Soldier," the haunting exhibit of drawings by a Mattoon artist of fallen Illinois soldiers, will go on display at a half-dozen sites operated by the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency over the next year.
The traveling display features hand-drawn portraits by Cameron Schilling of military personnel from Illinois who have been killed since Sept. 11, 2001, in the so-called global war on terror.
"The men and women memorialized in this exhibit gave their lives for their country and their fellow citizens," Gov. Pat Quinn said in a news release. "I hope all Illinoisans will see these touching portraits and take time to think about those who gave, in Abraham Lincoln's words, the 'last full measure of devotion.'"
Schilling drew the first portrait in August 2004 after Army Spc. Charles Neeley, also of Mattoon, was killed in Iraq. Schilling gave the sketch to Neeley's parents to convey his sympathy.
In October 2005, Schilling decided to draw a portrait of every Illinoisan who has fallen in the war against terror.
His work was recently on display at the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum. The strong response there inspired the the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency to show the portraits at its other sites. Here's the schedule:
— David Davis Mansion, Bloomington, through today.
— Old State Capitol, Springfield, Monday through Aug. 28.
— Lincoln Log Cabin, Lerna, Sept. 16 to Oct. 5.
— Vandalia Statehouse, Vandalia, Oct. 7 to Nov. 4.
— Cahokia Mounds, Collinsville, Feb. 15 to March 15, 2014.
— Bishop Hill, June 1 to July 1, 2014.
For more on the portraits, visit http://tinyurl.com/PortraitOfASoldier.