Museums Reopen: Here's What to Expect
The city’s landmark museums are once again welcoming art and history enthusiasts through their doors. After five months of shutdown, MoMA, the Whitney, Brooklyn Museum, The Met, and Fotografiska, among others, have confirmed opening dates after state and city officials approved the reopening of museums and cultural institutions in New York City beginning August 24. Below, we share dates to mark on your calendar, exhibitions to know about, and safety procedures implemented for staff and visitors, following guidelines issued by the CDC, the state and city. Measures include limiting the number of visitors to 25 percent of the museums’ maximum capacity and requiring timed entrance registration.
Adjusted Hours: every day from 10:30am to 5:30pm
MoMA will reopen to the public on August 27 with free entry for the first month. Among the notable exhibitions is Judd, (running through January 9, 2021) the first major US retrospective in over three decades dedicated to influential American artist Donald Judd. Be sure to also catch Dorothea Lange: Words & Pictures (on show through September 19), the first major solo exhibition of the American documentary photographer and photojournalist’s work at the Museum in over 50 years.
Tickets are released one week in advance in one-week blocks, every Friday at 10:00am. Entry is by advance timed ticket only (30-minute slots). You can reserve tickets online—here. The Museum will also require face coverings and social distancing, conduct contactless temperature checks, and position plexiglass barriers at strategic areas throughout the Museum.
Adjusted Hours: Mon and Thurs 11:30 to 5:30; Fri 1:30pm to 8:30pm; Sat and Sun 1pm to 5:30pm
The team has been hard at work reimagining the best possible Whitney experience in this new era—from monumental exhibitions and events to procedures that provide for the optimal health and well-being of visitors and staff.
If you missed any of the exhibitions that were on view when the museum closed in March, you will have the chance to visit (or revisit) each extraordinary show. Vida Americana: Mexican Muralists Remake American Art, 1925–1945—a monumental exhibition that earned critical raves in its first month—and Cauleen Smith: Mutualities, which explores experimental works by the artist that reflect on memory and Afro-diasporic histories, will remain on view through January 31, 2021. Agnes Pelton: Desert Transcendentalist, featuring 45 paintings by the visionary symbolist, will now continue its run through November 1, 2020.
The Whitney is also set to debut a new exhibition, Around Day’s End: Downtown New York, 1970–1986.
Entry is on a Pay-What-You-Wish basis for all visitors through September 28, 2020. You can book timed tickets in advance—here.
Adjusted Hours: Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays, 10am to 5pm; Thursdays and Fridays, noon to 7pm
“Opening The Met’s doors is an important signal for New York and for all of us,” said Max Hollein, Director of The Met, in a newsletter announcing the Museum’s reopening.
Three new exhibitions will be unveiled: Making The Met, 1870–2020, the centerpiece of The Met’s 150th-anniversary celebrations that will lead visitors 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, which will be 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 multi-paneled series Struggle . . . From the History of the American People (1954–56).
The Met Cloisters is scheduled to reopen on Saturday, September 12. Book tickets for The Met Fifth Avenue—here.
Adjusted Hours: Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays, 11am to 6pm; Fridays and Saturdays, 11am to 8pm
The Brooklyn Museum reopens to the public mid-September, with a packed calendar of outdoor activations, programs, screenings, and exhibitions including quotes and floor graphics around the building selected in collaboration with artist and musician David Byrne. According to Byrne, “I wanted to provide some food for thought, as folks will be navigating the Museum in a slower and more distanced fashion.”
Other exhibitions to look forward to include Studio 54: Night Magic (running through November 8), a dazzling display of photography, fashion, drawing, and film, tracing the radiant history, social politics, and trailblazing aesthetics of the most iconic nightclub of all time; an 18-foot-high sculpture by KAWS; and crowd-favorite works by French photographer and street artist JR.
As part of a safe reopening, all tickets are timed, with entry every 15 minutes. You can purchase tickets in advance—here.
Adjusted Hours: Wednesday through Sunday, 11am to 9pm
The immersive photography museum located within a landmark building in the Flatiron District will reopen to the public five days a week, allowing for deep cleaning, private tours and personal shopping on the remaining two days. Built on the hallmarks of innovation, inclusivity and free expression, the exhibitions spread across three floors include a series of richly imagined portraits by artistic duo Sarah Cooper and Nina Gorfer exploring the idea of Utopia in the age of the new diaspora. Also on show: work by Naima Green, a photographer and educator currently living between Brooklyn, NY and Mexico City; and a series from world-renowned contemporary portrait photographer Martin Schoeller comprising moving, digital portraits of individuals convicted and sentenced to death row for crimes they did not commit.
The museum will also offer free admission to First Responders and Frontline Healthcare providers through 2020. Also worth noting: The Shop, Fotografiska’s retail space, has joined the 15% Pledge—working to commit upwards of 15% of retail space to Black-owned business.
We recommend making reservations in advance to select your preferred time slot. You can book tickets—here.