What the 138-year-old museum doesn't tell you is the reason why. And that reason, essentially, is this: Republican Governor Bruce Rauner--a man with a net worth in the hundreds of millions of dollars--wants tax breaks for himself and his rich buddies, and paying for a museum doesn't fit into that plan. To see how Rauner and his super-wealthy friends have been enriching themselves through public policy, while repeatedly cutting services and programs to the citizens of Illinois, see...
"Rauner's $100 million in corporate tax breaks drawing fire," Chicago Sun-Times, April 9, 2015
"Rauner to Benefit From Budget Cuts With $750K Tax Break Each Year: Report," CBS News, February 25, 2015
"The wealthy got the bulk of Illinois' tax cut, policy group says," Chicago Business, February 17, 2015.
And the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy recently reported that Illinois is one of ten states that "are particularly regressive. These 'Terrible Ten' states tax their poorest residents--those in the bottom 20 percent of the income scale--at rates up to seven times higher than the wealthy. Middle-income families in these states pay a rate up to three times higher as a share of their income as the wealthiest families."
Of course, the closing of the Illinois State Museum is just the latest in a long list of public services and programs that Republicans & Tea Partiers are trying to destroy, e.g., public education, libraries, post offices, national parks & forests, etc. To them, everything (with the possible exception of the military) should be dismantled or delivered into the hands of millionaires & billionaires - the holy "JOB CREATORS" (the people who can't seem to create anything these days but low wage, stingy benefit, no future jobs).
Amazingly, many citizens of Illinois want to pay more taxes than the wealthy, and want to have their services and programs cut to finance even more tax breaks for the rich, as evidenced by the fact that they voted for a Republican governor (the modus operandi of all Republican politicians is to cut taxes for the wealthy, cut beneficial public programs, and then impose regressive taxation on the middle-class and poor). It's hard to understand why people vote a tax increase on themselves--especially as the super-wealthy keep raking in more and more money and benefiting from more and more tax breaks, loopholes, and gimmicks--but it's a phenomenon that's been repeating itself all across America for many decades now. As America increasingly votes Republican (or doesn't vote at all), the billionaire class is laughing all the way to their tax-evading foreign bank accounts.