Mary Ann MacLean, long-serving member of the Illinois State Museum Board, friend, and inspired proponent of the value of play, died on Thursday, August 18. She will be sorely missed. Her legacy lives on at the Illinois State Museum in Springfield in the Mary Ann MacLean Play Museum and the Mary Ann MacLean Resource Center. More than 207,000 children and their families have visited the Play Museum since its opening in 2011.
For 32 years, Mary Ann was a member of the Illinois State Museum Board of Directors, and she held the position of Chair of the Board. She was an incomparable leader and Museum advocate. As a member of the Illinois State Board of Education, Mary Ann MacLean promoted the Museums in the Classroom initiative, and advanced the role of the Illinois State Museum in this innovative program. Mary Ann and her family generously supported the creation of the Mary Ann MacLean Play Museum and Resource Center, the R. Bruce McMillan Museum Internship, and innumerable other Illinois State Museum programs and activities.
In honor of Mary Ann and the Play Museum that bears her name, the Illinois State Museum will hold a “Celebration of Play” family event on Saturday, September 24 from 11:00 am to 3:00 pm. Visitors are invited to enjoy a day of play, including marble painting, historic games and toys, shadow puppets, puzzles, sidewalk chalk, bubbles, and more.