When are museums in the U.S. reopening?

Not So Fast

When are museums in the U.S. reopening?

Inside Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin at the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin isn’t open to the public yet, but can be explored digitally for the time being. (Courtesy Blanton Museum of Art, The University of Texas at Austin)

With infection and mortality rates of COVID-19 seemingly declining (or at least, this first wave of it), cultural institutions, many of them desperate for revenue and fearful of being forced to remain shuttered forever, are slowly gesturing towards reopening to the public. Of course, the museum-going experience will look very different once they do, with temperature checks at the door, new capacity restrictions, touchless payment, and the removal of cafes and other eating areas.

While the Metropolitan Museum of Art, seemingly a bellwether for New York City museums so far, has announced that it’s shooting for a mid-August reopening, other institutions in less-affected cities around the globe are have already begun reopening. When can you expect your favorite museum to reopen? Check out our curated list below and plan accordingly; or, if an arts or design institution you care about will remain closed, check out our collection of virtual museum tours. AN will follow this with an article with more information on international museums.

The San Antonio Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, and Tampa Museum of Art in Florida have all already reopened, likely owing to their locations in states that have been pushing to get things “back to normal” a bit faster than elsewhere. Of course, some Texan museums and galleries aren’t rushing things; Ruby City in San Antonio remains closed only months after its official opening, and the Menil Collection in Houston won’t let visitors into its buildings until sometime later in the summer.

The Boca Raton Museum of Art in Florida is reopening today, but the ICA Miami, which is offering livestreams of its exhibitions, remains closed with no reopening date in sight. Other Miami museums are reportedly aiming to open back up in September.

One major reopening delayed by the COVID-19 crisis is the Rothko Chapel in Houston, which ARO is renovating. The contemplative art space and surrounding campus were originally slated to open again in June, but that’s been pushed back to September 13. If you can’t wait to get your fill of meditative, art-focused chapels, the Blanton Museum of Art in Austin has put together a 24/7 livestreamof Ellsworth Kelly’s Austin.

Back in New York City, the Museum of Modern Art is trying to reopen sometime between July and September, according to director Glenn Lowry, albeit with an enormous reduction in staff and the possible abandoning of its plans to rotate its exhibitions more frequently. The Cooper Hewitt, as a Smithsonian museum, has canceled all planned programming through July 1 and has not announced a reopening date yet. The Museum of Arts and Design has similarly avoided putting put a potential reopening date.

On the West Coast, the Getty remains closed and has canceled all programming through August 31 but is reportedly researching how best to reopen. Hauser & Wirth’s downtown Los Angeles location will tentatively try to reopen in July (visitors will need to make appointments ahead of time), while the Broad Museum, also in L.A., hasn’t announced a reopening date yet. SFMOMA, which also recently saw a painful round of layoffs, has no plans to reopen any time soon either. Somewhat ironically, even as the Los Angeles County Museum of Art is being torn down, the museum’s outdoor, interactive sculptures remain open to the visiting public.