The Metropolitan Museum of Art and the New York Historical Society announced today that they plan to reopen in August, making them the first major museums in New York City to announce plans to reopen since the coronavirus closings began.
The Met plans to reopen on August 29 with new social distancing guidelines in place, which will be revealed closer to the reopening date.
“The safety of our staff and visitors remains our highest concern,” said Daniel H. Weiss, president and CEO of The Met. “We are eagerly awaiting our reopening as, perhaps now more than ever, the Museum can serve as a reminder of the power of the human spirit and the ability of art to provide comfort, inspire resilience and help us better understand each other and the world that around us “.
The Met Cloisters in Washington Heights also plans to reopen shortly after the main branch; However, the Met Breuer on the Upper East Side will not reopen, and the space will be occupied by the Frick Collection.
The Met is expected to reopen with fewer hours and fewer days per week, and all tours, talks, concerts, and events will be canceled for the rest of 2020. They hope to resume all of those activities in 2021, including the Met Gala, which has been officially canceled for 2020; and they plan to have a late celebration of the institution’s 150th anniversary next year as well.
When visits resume, the museum has some exhibits it plans to debut, including: Doing the Met, 1870-2020, the exhibition of the museum’s 150th anniversary celebration; The Roof Garden Commission: Héctor Zamora, Lattice Detour, the latest in a series of annual submissions of site-specific work on the outdoor roof garden; and About the time of the Costume Institute: fashion and duration The exhibition, which was to be the theme of this year’s Met Gala, is slated to open on October 29, 2020.
The Met, which officially closed on March 13, has projected a loss of revenue of at least $ 100 million due to the pandemic and closure (and that figure was based on estimates that the museum could reopen in July). As a result, she has fired 81 staff members so far.
Before COVID-19, the Met had previously closed for two days on only two occasions: after 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy.
The New York Historical Society plans to reopen in stages starting August 14, pending approval from officials. They will start with a free special outdoor exhibition called Hope Wanted: New York City under quarantine, which documents the experiences of New Yorkers during the height of the pandemic.
Curated by writer Kevin Powell and photographer Kay Hickman, the exhibition features more than 50 photographs taken by Hickman along with 12 audio interviews with the subjects of the photographs taken by Powell and his team between April 8 and 9. It will take place outside in the New York York Historical’s backyard; Entry will be free, but access will be limited and face covers will be required for entry, with social distancing imposed through scheduled entry tickets and on-site security measures.
Then on September 11, the museum plans to reopen indoors with security protocols for visitors and staff. “We are eager to welcome visitors to the New York Historical Society,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of the New York Historical Society. “Although so much has changed in the past few months, our mission to ‘Make History Matter’ remains vital, now more than ever before.”
More details on the reopening protocols will be announced soon. The museum, which also closed to the public on March 13, has been collecting items from the pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests in the city for the past few months – you can learn how to donate items here.