Three art museums in Massachusetts’ Berkshires plan to reopen next weekend after being closed since mid-March to help stem the spread of coronavirus.

Mass MoCA in North Adams says it will reopen to members on Friday, July 10, and to the general public the following day. The Norman Rockwell Museum in Stockbridge and Clark Art Institute in Williamstown plan to open to the public on Sunday, July 12. Advance timed ticket reservations will be required at each museum.

“We are delighted to be able to reopen our doors and to welcome back our friends, neighbors, and new visitors,” Norman Rockwell Museum Director Laurie Norton Moffatt, Clark Art Institute Director Olivier Meslay, and Mass MoCA Director Joseph Thompson said in a joint press release. “We strongly believe in the restorative power of art and cannot wait to share our galleries and grounds with our guests. We are committed to providing the safest experiences possible and have been working hard to ensure that our visitors will be comfortable in returning under new norms. Our visitors will be our partners in the shared responsibility to follow best practices to protect one another.”

Spencer Finch artwork at Mass MoCA, May 2016. (© Greg Cook photo)
Spencer Finch artwork at Mass MoCA, May 2016. (© Greg Cook photo)

“Our lobby will seem more like an on-ramp than a gathering spot, with admission operations having mostly migrated outdoors,” Mass MoCA Director Joseph Thompson writes. At Mass MoCA, reservations are required to tour the “James Turrell: Into the Light” and “Wendy Red Star” exhibitions. Staff will wear masks, the museum has adopted “heightened cleaning protocols across campus,” where visitors will “find hand sanitizer in generous supply,’ the museum says.

The three Berkshires museums say:

• “Visitors must always wear face coverings when indoors and must use face coverings outdoors when unable to maintain at least six feet of social distancing space.”

• “Social distancing must be practiced in all indoor spaces. Security personnel and/or gallery guides will assist visitors in ensuring safe social distancing practices.”

• New signs will guide visitors along new circulation patterns through galleries and shops.

• “Rigorous cleaning and sanitization practices of all public areas will occur throughout the day.”

• Hand sanitizing stations will be provided.

• “Each museum will comply with contact tracing protocols and will collect visitor information for this purpose.”

Mass MoCA plans to debut their “totally reimagined” concert courtyard with a performance for members only on July 11, where “social distancing measures include a new loading-dock proscenium.” They plan to follow that with a public concert by Treya Lam on July 18.

March 26, 2020: Mass MoCA To Lay Off 120 Due To Coronovirus Closure

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Categories: Art