Robert Colescott’s Monumental “Miss Liberty” is on Public Display for the First Time in Peoria Riverfront Museum’s Newest Exhibition, “FRESH: New Directions in Contemporary Art”

Robert Colescott’s Monumental “Miss Liberty” is on Public Display for the First Time in Peoria Riverfront Museum’s Newest Exhibition, “FRESH: New Directions in Contemporary Art”

PEORIA, Ill., Jan. 11, 2024 /PRNewswire/ — Artist Robert Colescott’s monumental painting Miss Liberty” is on public display for the first time since being purchased by a private collector shortly after it was painted in 1980. Decades later, the painting is now the centerpiece of Peoria Riverfront Museum’s newest exhibition, “FRESH: New Directions in Contemporary Art,” which features a collection of newly purchased artworks from Art Bridges, the foundation started by Walmart heiress Alice Walton in 2017.

“The recent acquisition of ‘Miss Liberty‘ by Robert Colescott to the Art Bridges Permanent Collection highlights our commitment to ensuring diverse works of American art are accessible to museum audiences across the country. Both humorous and biting, ‘Miss Liberty’ is a celebrated example of the artist’s formal boldness and a fitting addition to Peoria Riverfront Museum’s exhibition,” said Ashley Holland, Curator and Director of Curatorial Initiatives for Art Bridges.

Robert Colescott examined tropes of European art and American history through the American point of view as early as the mid-1970s. Colescott’s groundbreaking ‘Miss Liberty’ bravely challenging issues of identity, culture, media, and overall aesthetic approach, resulting in fantastical revelations of the visual art vernacular,” said Bill Conger, chief curator at Peoria Riverfront Museum.

“FRESH: New Directions in Contemporary Art” features more than 20 artists whose work has radically shifted the paradigm of art over the past 40 years, including Colescott (1925-2009), Richard Serra (b. 1938), who became the largest presence in monumental Minimalist sculpture, and Conceptual Feminist Sherrie Levine (b. 1947), who exploded the boundaries of gender by painstakingly remaking important patriarchal works in the Modern Art canon herself.

The exhibition marks the largest-scale collaboration and the seventh to date for the museum with the Art Bridges Foundation since beginning a partnership in 2019.

The exhibition is on display at the Peoria Riverfront Museum through September 2024 and is open to the public free of charge during Access for All day every second Sunday of the month. The exhibition is free for members and, for the general public, costs the regular museum admission of $15 for adults, $13 for seniors and students with I.D., and $11 for youth ages 3-17. The museum is open Tuesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Sunday 12 to 5 p.m.

FRESH: New Directions in Contemporary Art is presented thanks to the generous support provided by the Art Bridges Foundation, the Bielfeldt Foundation, Visionary Society and Friends of Art. Generous support provided by Art Bridges Foundation’s Access for All program.

For more information about the exhibition visit

Contact Melody Konrad, Peoria Riverfront Museum digital content coordinator at [email protected].

About Peoria Riverfront Museum
The Peoria Riverfront Museum is the only multidisciplinary institution of its kind in the nation combining art, science, history and achievement. The museum is dedicated to using its collections, exhibitions, film planetarium and programming to tell the stories that build confidence; create a culture of lifelong learning; and unleash the full talent and genius of every individual.

About Art Bridges Foundation
Art Bridges Foundation is the vision of philanthropist and arts patron Alice Walton. The mission of Art Bridges is to expand access to American art in all regions across the United States. Since 2017, Art Bridges has been creating and supporting programs that bring outstanding works of American art out of storage and into communities. Art Bridges partners with a growing network of over 220 museums of all sizes and locations on nearly 700 projects across the nation, impacting over 4.1 million people, to provide financial and strategic support for exhibition development, loans from the Art Bridges Collection, and programs designed to educate, inspire, and deepen engagement with local audiences. The Art Bridges Collection represents an expanding vision of American art from the 19th century to present day and encompasses multiple media and voices. For more information, visit

SOURCE Peoria Riverfront Museum

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