The Best Museum
Fossils? Fuhgedaboudit. Picasso? Please. The best museum in Illinois isn’t up north. Rather, voters in a recent online election chose the Abraham Presidential Library and Museum in Springfield as the best museum in the, well, Land of Lincoln, besting such Windy City institutions as the Field Museum and the Art Institute of Chicago. Results of the contest, in which voters were encouraged to cast ballots early and often, were announced this week by the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum, which sponsored the contest along with the State Journal-Register and the Illinois Bicentennial Commission, a group appointed by Gov. Bruce Rauner which has members ranging from Mayor Jim Langfelder of Springfield to Rick Nielsen of Cheap Trick. In case you’re wondering, the Museum of Science and Industry finished second, the Field Museum finished third and the McLean County Museum of History came surging from the pack to finish fourth, just ahead of the Art Institute of Chicago, which insiders say might have finished stronger if not for an obsession with works by such artists as Monet, Rembrandt and Van Gogh at the expense of dioramas. Now that the best museum question is settled, the same sponsors are holding another online election to decide the best book written by an Illinois author or set in the Prairie State. You can vote for as many as five books a day from a list posted at www.illinoistop200.com. There being no offerings from Vachel Lindsay, Ernest Hemingway or Betty Friedan, we’re going with Infinite Jest by David Foster Wallace.