Margie Wilhelmi
Director of Marketing, Wheaton Park District
630.510.4984 | [email protected]

May 15, 2024

Instantly Iconic Exhibits Opening in June

WHEATON—The DuPage County Historical Museum is presenting three new exhibits for 2024. All three fit into the Instantly Iconic umbrella to celebrate DuPage’s rich history of presidential encounters, iconic childhood toys and coming of age experiences.

On June 8, “Extracurricular: High School Tradition and Culture in DuPage County” opens featuring the many different dynamics of the high school experience including, academics, athletics, coming of age, development of personal relationships and self-discovery.

In July, “Presidential Encounters: U.S. Presidents in DuPage County” opens with a focus on various presidents, vice presidents, and presidential candidates who visited DuPage during various campaigns, rallies, lectures and vacations across the county. The exhibit will describe who these icons were and what brought them to DuPage.

In September, the “Before Barbie” exhibit will explore what other types of dolls and toys were iconic to play with before the invention of Barbie in 1959.

“What has me most excited about curating these upcoming exhibits is how they highlight the connection between people through these shared experiences and moments in time,” said Emily O’Brien, Museum Curator. “I get to relive their excitement as they remember their own high school stories or when they see an old doll that their grandmother had as a child. It’s history on a more personal level and that’s rewarding to me.”

To accompany these exhibits, the Museum will feature corresponding programming and a few free family craft workshops. Programming includes:

  • Three Frenchmen & A Goat: The DeMoulin Bros. Story on Saturday, September 14
  • Barbie: The History of America’s Most Famous Doll with Leslie Goddard on Saturday, September 21
  • America’s First Ladies: The Best, the Worst, and the Strangely Forgotten on Tuesday, October 8
  • Mudslinging, Muckraking, and Apple Pie: Presidential Campaigns, the Great American Pastime on Saturday, October 12
  • Iconic DuPage Diners and Hangouts on Thursday, November 14

All three exhibits and select programming are sponsored by DuPage Foundation.

The DuPage County Historical Museum is operated as a facility of Wheaton Park District, owned by the County of DuPage by resolution of the County Board pursuant to state statute. Its principal purposes are to educate the general public through the collection, preservation, interpretation, and exhibition of materials which document the history of DuPage County and its relationship to Illinois and the nation, and to provide local history services for historical organizations and for scholarly endeavors.

The Museum is free to the public and open Tuesday – Friday from 10:30A to 4P and on weekends from Noon to 4P.

Details about these upcoming exhibits and programming can be found at

Exterior view of DCHM