Lovers of art and culture, rejoice!
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, which had previously not been closed for more than three days in more than a century, announced it plans to reopen to visitors on Saturday, August 29, 2020. The reopening will be the first time visitors will be back inside the museum, closed since March 13, 2020.
"The safety of our staff and visitors remains our greatest concern," said Daniel H. Weiss, President and CEO of The Met. "We are eager to reopen and expect this will be possible next month. Perhaps now more than, ever the museum can serve as a reminder of the power of the human spirit and the capacity of art to bring comfort, inspire resilience, and help us better understand each other and the world around us."
The Met's Fifth Avenue building—which is over 2 million square feet—will be open five days a week, Thursday through Monday. On Saturdays, Sundays and Mondays, it will be open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The museum will offer later hours on Thursdays and Fridays and be open noon to 7 p.m. In contrast, The Met Cloisters will open later in September.
"Opening The Met's doors is an important signal for New York and for all of us," said Max Hollein, Director of The Met. "We have never been forced to close for longer than three days—much less five months—and we can't wait to welcome visitors to a wide range of compelling exhibitions and our permanent collection, which spans over 5,000 years of human creativity."
This will be a time, Hollein adds, for New Yorkers to reconnect with their favorite artworks and spaces in their museum.
"So many people have reached out during the time of closure to express how much they miss being at The Met, and we are eager to welcome all back to the galleries."
As part of the reopening plans, The Met has developed comprehensive safety procedures for its staff and visitors, following guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), New York State, and New York City. These measures include limiting the number of visitors to 25% of the museum's maximum capacity and enhancing cleaning procedures, in addition to requiring visitors and staff to wear face coverings at all times.
All who enter the building will be asked to practice physical distancing by maintaining at least 6 feet from others, and handwashing and hand sanitizing will be encouraged throughout the venue. Visitors can download the map, Audio Guide, and brochures in advance of visiting as printed materials; Audio Guide devices will not be available. The Met has included additional signage throughout the building to assist visitors with navigating the galleries and staying safe while visiting. Please see the complete list of guidelines and recommendations.
With the reopening of the museum come three new exhibitions: Making The Met, 1870–2020, the signature exhibition of the institution's 150th-anniversary year that will lead groups on an immersive, thought-provoking journey through The Met's history; The Roof Garden Commission: Héctor Zamora, Lattice Detour, a site-specific installation for The Met's Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, set against dramatic views of Central Park and Manhattan; and Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle, which will present the American Modernist's striking and little-known multipaneled series Struggle . . . From the History of the American People (1954–56).
Not able to make it in person just yet? The good news: The Metropolitan Museum of Art will continue its robust virtual offerings on the website and on its social media channels throughout summer and fall, including new programs, events, performances, conversations with curators, educators, and artists, and activities. A continually updated schedule of virtual events is available on The Met's website.
Written by Sarah Suydam, Staff Writer for Groups Today.
Photo courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art.