Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko has been appointed to the position following a nationwide search.
She most recently served as President and CEO of the Abbe Museum in Maine and has over 20 years experience at other facilities. She will succeed interim director Robert Sill.
The State Museum is located on South Spring Street in Springfield and is nearing its 150th anniversary in just 8 years.
“We’re extremely excited to have Cinnamon on board as the new director of the Illinois State Museum,” said Colleen Callahan, director of the Illinois Department of Natural Resources in a news release. “She brings with her a wealth of experience, knowledge and energy and we can’t wait for her to take the reins of the Illinois State Museum.”
According to the agency, prior to her service at the Abbe Museum, Catlin-Legutko led the General Lew Wallace Study and Museum to the nation’s highest honor for museums and libraries when it was awarded a 2008 National Medal for Museum Service by the Institute of Museum and Library Service and the White House. She is a graduate of Purdue University and the University of Arkansas.
Catlin-Legutko has served on the Board of the American Association for State and Local History and currently serves on the American Alliance of Museums Board of Directors. She has lectured and written extensively on museum best practices, including diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility in museums, and is a nationally recognized leader in the museum field.
“We are very pleased to have Ms. Catlin-Legutko lead the Museum as we strive toward greater inclusiveness and expand our service to Illinois citizens and beyond,” said Dr. Lorin Nevling, chairman, Illinois State Museum Board. "The Board of the Museum is eager to work with Director Catlin-Legutko to assure a brilliant future for the museum.”
Former Governor Bruce Rauner closed the museum for 9 months during a budget dispute. The museum was re-accredited this spring by the American Association of Museums. It had been placed on probation during the budget impasse.
Since re-opening in 2016, the museum began charging a $5 entrance fee.