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The Met & The New-York Historical Society Are Both Planning To Reopen In August

June 30, 2020 3:36 PM | Anonymous

Reposted from the Gothamist

The Metropolitan Museum Of Art and The New-York Historical Society both announced today that they are planning to reopen in August, making them the first major museums in New York City to announce reopening plans since the coronavirus shutdowns began.

The Met is planning to reopen on August 29th with new social distancing guidelines in place, which will be revealed closer to the reopen date.

“The safety of our staff and visitors remains our greatest 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 capacity of art to bring comfort, inspire resilience, and help us better understand each other and the world around us.” 

The Met Cloisters in Washington Heights is also planning to reopen shortly after the main branch; The Met Breuer on the Upper East Side will not be reopening however, and the space will be taken over by the Frick Collection.

The Met is expected to reopen with shorter hours and fewer days per week, and all tours, talks, concerts, and events will be canceled through the rest of 2020. They hope to resume all those activities in 2021, including the Met Gala, which has been officially canceled for 2020; and they plan to have a belated celebration of the institution's 150th anniversary next year as well.

When visits do resume, the museum has a few exhibits it's planning to debut, including: Making The Met, 1870-2020, the signature exhibition of the Museum’s 150th anniversary celebration; The Roof Garden Commission: Héctor Zamora, Lattice Detour, the latest in a series of annual presentations of a site-specific work on the open-aired roof garden; and The Costume Institute’s About Time: Fashion and Duration exhibition, which was going to be the theme of this year's Met Gala, is scheduled to open on October 29th, 2020.

The Met, which officially closed on March 13th, has projected at least a $100 million loss in revenue because of the pandemic and the shutdown (and that figure was based on estimates that the museum would be able to reopen in July). As a result, it has laid off 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 is planning to reopen in stages starting August 14th, pending approval from officials. They will start with a special free 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 exhibit features more than 50 photographs taken by Hickman along with 12 audio interviews with the photographs’ subjects conducted by Powell and his team between April 8th and 9th. It will take place outdoors in New-York Historical’s rear courtyard; admission will be free, but access will be limited and face coverings will be required for entry, with social distancing enforced through timed-entry tickets and on-site safety measures.

Then on September 11th, the museum plans to reopen indoors with safety protocols for visitors and staff. “We are eager to welcome visitors back to the New-York Historical Society,” said Dr. Louise Mirrer, president and CEO of the New-York Historical Society. “While so much has changed over the past several months, our mission of ‘Making History Matter’ remains vital, now more than ever before.”

More details about the reopening protocols will be announced soon. The museum, which also closed to the public on March 13th, has been collecting items from the pandemic and the Black Lives Matter protests in the city in recent months.

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