Celebrating Halloween

The Illinois Digital Heritage Hub celebrates Halloween and the month of October with paintings from the International Collection of Child Art (ICCA) provided by one of our newest partners, Illinois State University. The ICCA features two-dimensional art in many different media created by children around the world. More information on the ICCA can be found here.

The images featured from this collection are from the 1960s but are so relatable that they could be contemporary and feature costumed kids trick-or-treating, a haunted house complete with ghosts, skeletons, and a graveyard, pumpkins, bats, and black cats, a costume party, and a witch on her broomstick.

As historical artifacts, the paintings demonstrate how old and enduring some of Halloween’s most iconic images and traditions are with perhaps only the hair and clothing styles of some of the children in the paintings hinting at the works’ ages. The artists range from ages 9 and 12 and would be in their 50s and 60s today.

Child's painting of a trick-or-treater dressed as a skeleton
Halloween Fun. 1960. Illinois State University. Permission to display was given by Milner Library, Illinois State University.
Child's painting of a haunted house with ghosts and walking skeletons
Halloween Ghosts. 1960. Illinois State University. Permission to display was given by Milner Library, Illinois State University.
Child's painting of a Halloween costume party
I Go to a Party. 1960. Illinois State University. Permission to display was given by Milner Library, Illinois State University.
Child's drawing featuring jack-o-lanterns and ghosts.
On Halloween Night. 1960. Illinois State University. Permission to display was given by Milner Library, Illinois State University.
Child's painting of a witch flying on a broomstick
The Mean Queen of Halloween. 1968. Illinois State University. Permission to display was given by Milner Library, Illinois State University.

The entire International Collection of Child Art can be found in the DPLA here. All of the Halloween-themed items contributed by Illinois Digital Heritage Hub institutions may be found here.