Illinois State Museum Begins Staggered Reopening July 23


Museum offers free admission, reduced hours, and enhanced health and safety protocols

Release Date: 

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

ISM Location: 

For Immediate Release:

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – After a four-month temporary closure due to COVID-19, the Illinois State Museum (ISM) today announced it will reopen its flagship facility in Springfield to Illinois State Museum Society members Thursday, July 23, and to the public Saturday, July 25. Dickson Mounds in Lewistown will open to the public Thursday, July 23. ISM's Research and Collections Center, also located in Springfield, reopened by appointment Monday, July 20. The ISM Lockport Gallery in Lockport will remain closed until further notice. 

"I am happy to be at this point where we can safely reopen the Illinois State Museum facilities to the public," said Museum Director Cinnamon Catlin-Legutko. "We have made many adaptations to respond to the COVID-19 crisis so that museum-goers can visit with a high degree of comfort, and we look forward to offering more virtual programmatic opportunities."

During this staggered reopening phase, the ISM will offer free admission across all locations. The new hours of operations will be Tuesday through Saturday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. except for its Research and Collections Center. The Center will operate by appointment only Monday through Friday from 10:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Advanced registration for entry is strongly encouraged across all ISM locations. Visitors can access registration instructions on the ISM website at Groups are limited to 10 persons and must register in advance to visit the museum.

Visitors will have the opportunity to enjoy ISM's exhibits with enhanced health and safety measures in place. Protocols will include health screenings before entry, face coverings required for everyone over the age of 2, and social distancing in the galleries and elevators. Regularly scheduled cleaning and sanitization of all high-touch surfaces will occur throughout the day. 

Upon reopening, the ISM will not offer visitors hands-on experiences or in-person programming. Exhibits with interactive components have been either modified or closed temporarily. The Mary Ann MacLean Play Museum and Thorne Deuel Auditorium at the ISM Springfield campus and the Discovery Center at Dickson Mounds will be closed temporarily.

The reopening will be the first opportunity for ISM visitors to experience the highly anticipated exhibition Fashioning Illinois, 1820-1900 at its flagship facility in Springfield. The exhibition will remain on view through May 31, 2021. 

About the Illinois State Museum

Established in 1877, the Illinois State Museum is a dynamic institution that inspires the exploration of Illinois' past and present to inform and enrich everyday life and promote stewardship of cultural and natural resources. Headquartered in Springfield with branch facilities in Lewistown and Lockport, ISM is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and a proud member of the International Coalition of Sites of Conscience. To learn more, visit and follow us on FacebookTwitter, and Instagram.


Contact Person: 

Jamila Wicks

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