Illinois State Museum director Cinnamon Catlin Legutko passes away

The Illinois State Museum is part of the Capitol Complex, at Spring and Edwards Streets near the Howlett Building. open. (Photo courtesy Facebook/Illinois State Museum)

By Dave Dahl

SPRINGFIELD – “She will be missed by all who knew her, and she will be missed by those who never knew her.”

That’s how former Illinois Department of Natural Resources director Colleen Callahan reacts to Saturday’s death of Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko, 50, director of the Illinois State Museum.

Catlin-Legutko was hired under the Pritzker administration to help bring the museum back from near-death. It closed and lost its accreditation under the Rauner administration. Callahan says the hard work of staff steered the museum back into accreditation just before Catlin-Legutko arrived.

Callahan, who says Catlin-Legutko suffered a rare form of cancer, says one of the director’s main achievements was better outreach to the Native American community, hiring Heather Miller – of Native descent – as the first director of tribal relations.

The Illinois State Museum is part of the Capitol Complex, at Spring and Edwards Streets near the Howlett Building.

Dave Dahl can be reached at


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