(New York, July 15, 2020)—The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today that it will reopen to visitors on Saturday, August 29, with Members preview days on August 27 and 28. The Museum has been closed since March 13, 2020, and had previously not been closed for more than three days in over a century.
Daniel H. Weiss, President and CEO of The Met, commented, “The safety of our staff and visitors remains our greatest concern. 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 two million square feet—will be open five days a week, Thursday through Monday. On Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays, it will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum will offer later hours on Thursdays and Fridays and be open from noon to 7 p.m. The Met Cloisters will open in September.
“Opening The Met’s doors is an important signal for New York and for all of us. 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,” said Max Hollein, Director of The Met. “This will be a time 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.”
The Museum has developed comprehensive safety procedures for its staff and visitors, following guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), New York State, and New York City. Measures include limiting the number of visitors to 25 percent 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 six feet from others, and handwashing and hand sanitizing will be encouraged throughout the Museum. Visitors can download the map, Audio Guide, and brochures in advance of visiting as printed materials and Audio Guide devices will not be available. The Museum has included additional signage throughout the building to assist visitors with navigating the galleries and staying safe while visiting. A complete list of guidelines and recommendations is available on The Met’s website.
When the Museum reopens, three new exhibitions will be unveiled: Making The Met, 1870–2020, the signature exhibition of the institution’s 150th-anniversary year 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 Museum will continue its robust virtual offerings on the website and The Met’s social media channels, and new programs; events; performances; conversations with curators, educators, and artists; and activities will be added throughout the summer and fall. The MetLiveArts digital premiere of Nrityagram’s Samh?ra Revisited, which was originally performed at the Museum’s Temple of Dendur in October 2018, will be streamed on Saturday, July 18. On Tuesday, July 21, in conjunction with the exhibition Gerhard Richter: Painting After All—which opened at The Met Breuer just nine days before the Museum’s forced closure—a new “Artists on Artworks” will feature a discussion between Sheena Wagstaff, the Leonard A. Lauder Chairman of Modern and Contemporary Art, and artist Cecily Brown. In a “Teen Studio” on Wednesday, July 22, high school students can participate in a virtual collage workshop led by a Museum educator. This year’s “Women and the Critical Eye” series will take place virtually on Tuesday, July 28, with a conversation between artist Wangechi Mutu, whose sculptures The NewOnes, will free Us have graced The Met’s historic facade since September 2019, and Kelly Baum, Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsky Curator of Contemporary Art. A continually updated schedule of virtual events is available on the Museum’s website.