This week, Jared Bowen provides an update on the latest museum reopenings.

After being closed for more than half a year, the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston has announced it will reopen to the public on Sept. 26. Like many museums that have already reopened, the MFA will shift to a system of timed-entry tickets that must be purchased in advance. The museum plans to start with a partial reopening, and visitors will follow a prescribed route through the Art of the Americas Wing, which includes 31 galleries and the special exhibitions “Women Take the Floor” and “Black Histories, Black Futures.” (Other wings and galleries are expected to reopen later this fall.) The MFA also announced upcoming opening dates for three major exhibitions that it had planned to showcase this year, during its 150th anniversary celebrations. The exhibitions include “Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation” (October 18, 2020–May 16, 2021), “Cézanne: In and Out of Time” (November 11, 2020–February 28, 2021), and “Monet and Boston: Lasting Impression” (November 15, 2020–February 28, 2021). For now, museum officials say patrons will find a modified museum, but one that provides the same solace.

“We're going to ask for and monitor physical distancing,” says MFA director Matthew Teitelbaum, “but people will not be in the hurly burly of huge crowds, they will be walking through the space in comfort.”

"Hollywood Africans" by Jean-Michel Basquiat
"Hollywood Africans" by Jean‑Michel Basquiat, 1983. "Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation" opens at the MFA on October 18
Courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

Outside of Boston, the Worcester Art Museum has also just announced its reopening plans for Oct. 7. WAM has been closed since March 13, and the reopening will coincide with the debut of a new exhibition: “The Kimono in Print: 300 Years of Japanese Design.” The delayed reopening allows WAM to complete construction and renovation of various elements within its building, most notably the Lancaster entrance stairs, without interfering with the visitor experience.

Oct. 1 is the reopening date for the Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester. However, its new campus, the Cape Ann Museum Green, which serves as a contemporary exhibition and storage space, will be open to the public as early as Sept. 17 with advanced ticketing.

All of the aforementioned museums feature new safety precautions to adhere to social distancing protocols, including reduced capacity, increased cleaning of high-contact areas, and other measures.

Are you comfortable going back to museums this year? Tell Jared about it on Facebook or Twitter!