Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko

Job Title: 


Areas of Expertise/Research: 

Archaeology / Anthropology
Decolonizing Museum Practice
Decorative Art
Fine Art
Library and Archives
Museum Administration
Museum Society
Public Programs
Publicity and Marketing
Technology / Web


  • Illinois State Museum, Springfield

Mail Address: 

502 S. Spring St., Springfield, IL 62706
(217) 782-7011


Working in museums for more than twenty years, Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko believes they have the power to change lives, inspire movements, and challenge authority. A museum director since 2001, she is a frequent presenter at national museum meetings and is often asked to comment on museum issues. As the president and CEO of the Abbe Museum in Bar Harbor, Maine, she served as one of the motivational forces behind the Museum’s decolonization initiative, working with the Wabanaki communities in Maine to develop policies and protocols to ensure collaboration and cooperation. Because of this work, the Abbe is a leading resource and model that the museum field turns to for ideas, solutions, and strategies for understanding and developing decolonizing museum practice. In September 2019, Cinnamon joined the Illinois State Museum (Springfield) as its new director. In 2016 Cinnamon gave her first TEDx talk, We Must Decolonize Our Museums ( She’s been an active and engaged board member of the American Association for State and Local History, Maine Humanities Council, Smithsonian Affiliates Advisory Council, and the American Alliance of Museums. Committed to serving her local community, Cinnamon served on the boards of the Island Housing Trust and the Hub of Bar Harbor (a Main Street-affiliate organization), and as the President of the Bar Harbor Chamber of Commerce. She’s the author of Museum Administration 2.0 (2016), The Art of Healing: The Wishard Art Collection (2004), and co-editor of the Small Museum Toolkit (2012). In 2008, as the Director of the General Lew Wallace Study & Museum, she led the organization to the National Medal for Museum Service. In 2019 she was awarded the Neal Allen, Jr. award by the Maine Historical Society for her outstanding contributions to the field of Maine history. Her latest publication The Inclusive Museum Leader is a compilation of essays she edited with Chris Taylor was published by the American Alliance of Museums (2021). Twitter handle: @clegutko