MAJOR MUSEUMS ARE OPENING THROUGHOUT NYC — HERE’S HOW THEY PLAN TO KEEP VISITORS SAFE

The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Following several false starts, art lovers can finally delight as many of New York City’s most prominent museums will be reopening in the coming weeks. On Friday, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced that starting August 24th, museums and other cultural institutions will be permitted to open to the public:

However, as New York City was at one point one of the biggest hotspots for COVID-19 cases, strict guidelines have been set in place on businesses as they plan to open their doors. As such, the reopening institutions are taking precautions in order to assure the safest environment possible come reopening day.

In many ways museum patronage is both a social and extremely solitary experience. Visual art of course is often a societal comment; a collective statement on the world around us that we share with our peers. But of course, interpretation is inherently a very personal concept, and going to a museum alone can be a very enlightening experience, especially when compared to a more socially-fueled visit. While many NYC museums plan to keep displayed the majority of collections they had present in March when they closed, the unique and newfound ordeal of navigating pubic spaces in the midst of a pandemic will surely see a silver lining in new, creative and expressive artwork. Many artists have adapted to the crisis by presenting their work digitally, but to experience their work in person will feel fresh again to the art world after so many months of isolation.

When we return to these museums safely in a couple of weeks, we surely will find new ways to effectively experience the artwork, which may persist even after the pandemic is eventually contained. With that in mind, we have compiled a list of major museums preparing to reopen in New York City, along with with their planned safety precautions and opening dates:

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Courtesy of Flickr.

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA)

Reopening Date: August 27 (with free admission through September 27 and Mondays reserved for members only)

Health & Safety Plan: Timed tickets, face coverings, 25% capacity, one-way signage, hand sanitizer stations, contactless audio information, closed checkroom

Exhibitions of Note: Abby Aldrich Rockefeller Sculpture Garden, Sur moderno: Journeys of Abstraction—The Patricia Phelps de Cisneros Gift, Dorothea Lange’s Words & Pictures

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art

Reopening Date: August 29 (August 27 for members)

Health & Safety Plan: Timed tickets, face coverings, 25% capacity, temperature screenings for visitors, disinfecting plan, hand sanitizer stations, limited restroom capacity, closed checkroom

Exhibitions of Note: Making the Met, 1870-2020, The Roof Garden Commission: Héctor Zamora, Lattice Detour, Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle

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The Met Cloisters

Reopening Date: September 12 (hours TBA)

Health & Safety Plan: Timed tickets, face coverings, 25% capacity, temperature screenings for visitors, disinfecting plan, hand sanitizer stations, limited restroom capacity, closed checkroom

Exhibitions of Note: The Dressed Madonna II, Holy Sacraments IRomanesque Architecture 

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The Whitney Museum of American Art. Courtesy of Flickr.

The Whitney Museum of American Art

Reopening Date: September 3 (August 27 for members)

Health & Safety Plan: Timed tickets, face coverings, 25% capacity, temperature checks for all visitors, one-way signage, enforced social distancing, disinfecting plan

Exhibitions of Note: Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945, Cauleen Smith: Mutualities, Pelton: Desert Transcendentalist, Around Day’s End: Downtown New York, 1970–1986

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The New Museum

Reopening Date: September 15 (with free admission through September 27)

Health & Safety Plan: Timed tickets, face coverings, limited capacity, no tours, upgraded air filtration system, closed cafe, closed water fountains, hand sanitizer stations, closed checkroom, temperature screening for visitors

Exhibitions of Note: Peter Saul: Crime and Punishment, Jordan Casteel: Within Reach, Daiga Grantina: What Eats Around Itself

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The American Museum of Natural History

Reopening Date: September 9 (September 2 for members)

Health & Safety Plan: Timed tickets, face coverings, 25% capacity, hand sanitizer stations, no interactive displays, upgraded ventilation systems, one-way signage, limited restroom and elevator capacity, plexiglass barriers, disinfecting plan, self-screenings

Exhibitions of Note: Addressing the StatueThe Nature of ColorWorlds Beyond EarthVolcanoes: The Fires of Creation

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The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum. Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

The Guggenheim

Reopening Date: October 3 (October 2 for members)

Health & Safety Plan: Timed tickets, face coverings, 25% capacity

Exhibitions of Note (dates TBA): Countryside, The Future, The Fullness of Color: 1960s Painting, Marking Time: Process in Minimal Abstraction

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The Museum of Jewish Heritage

Reopening Date: September 13 (September 9 for members)

Health & Safety Plan: Timed tickets, face coverings, 25% capacity, hand sanitizer stations, no interactive displays, upgraded ventilation systems, one-way signage, limited restroom and elevator capacity, plexiglass barriers, disinfecting plan, limited days of operation

Exhibitions of Note: Auschwitz: not long ago. Not far away

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Fotografiska

Reopening Date: August 28

Health & Safety Plan: Timed tickets, face coverings, 25% capacity, contactless payment, private tours, reduced schedule, temperature screenings for visitors, hand sanitizer stations, disinfecting plan, plexiglass surfaces, retail items available for purchase.

Exhibitions of Note: Naima Green’s Brief & Drenching,Martin Schoeller’s Death Row Exonerees, Cooper and Gorfer’s Between These Folded Walls, Utopia

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The Bronx Museum. Courtesy of Flickr.

The Bronx Museum of the Arts

Reopening Date: September 9

Health & Safety Plan: Timed tickets, limited capacity, face coverings

Exhibitions of Note: Sanford Biggers: Codeswitch, José Parlá: It’s Yours 

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The Museum of New York City

Reopening Date: August 27 (free admission through September 14)

Health & Safety Plan: First hour of daily operation reserved for seniors and other high-risk patrons, face coverings 25% capacity, one-way signage, limited capacity elevators, no tours, cleaning plan

Exhibitions of Note: The City WithinCity/GameCollecting New York’s Stories

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El Museo Del Barrio

Reopening Date: September 12

Health & Safety Plan: Timed tickets, limited capacity, face coverings

Exhibitions of Note: Taller Boricua: A Political Print Shop in New York, Popular Painters & Other Visionaries, Estamos Bien – La Trienal 20/21

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The American Folk Art Museum

Reopening Date: August 28 (August 26 for members)

Health & Safety Plan: Timed tickets, face coverings, limited capacity, one-way signage, contact free hand sanitizer stations

Exhibitions of Note: American Perspectives: Stories from the American Folk Art Museum Collection, Six Decades Collecting Self-Taught Art

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Courtesy of Flickr.
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