Philadelphia Museum of Art Plans to Reopen on September 6, 2020
The Philadelphia Museum of Art announced today that it will reopen to the public on Sunday, September 6, 2020, following a nearly six-month closure that was necessitated by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Rodin Museum, previously anticipated to reopen also on September 6, will be rescheduled to open at a later date (check the website for updates).
Admission to the Philadelphia Museum of Art will be Pay-What-You-Wish on opening day, which will follow three Members-Only days (September 3, 4, 5).
The museum will operate with reduced hours (see below) and visitors are strongly advised to reserve admission tickets in advance online, beginning August 17.
What to Expect When You Visit
The main building will be accessible only via the North Entrance, facing Kelly Drive (East and West entrances will be closed initially). Inside, the following safety measures will be implemented:
- The museum will have a reduced visitor capacity in compliance with city, state and federal guidelines.
- Timed general admission. Touchless tickets will be available for designated times (last ticket will be sold one hour prior to closing each day; see museum hours below). The museum requests that visitors arrive no more than 15 minutes prior to entry, to assist in avoiding unnecessary waiting lines.
- Visitors above the age of 2 and museum staff will be required to wear masks at all times.
- Temperature checks, via digital scanner, will be required upon arrival at the North Entrance.
- A six-foot social distance will be required between visitors (or their party) and others, including museum workers. Children must remain with adults at all times.
- Hand sanitizer units will be stationed at locations throughout the building.
- Enhanced cleaning of high-touch surfaces will be in effect throughout each day.
- In accordance with new safety procedures, the Main Store will welcome shoppers on-site in limited capacity. (Online shopping is available 24/7 via store.philamuseum.org.)
- Food and dining services will not be immediately available.
Further information on the museum’s new safety policies, how to purchase tickets, plan a visit, and shop, is available via philamuseum.org/visit.
In the Galleries
With nearly all of the 200-plus galleries open in the main building, ranging from the arts of Asia to the European, American, and contemporary collections, visitors are encouraged to revisit favorite works from the collection and discover new treasured favorites, from the Japanese Ceremonial Teahouse to the recently-installed All about the Benjamins Century Vase by Philadelphia artist Roberto Lugo. Mary Cassatt’s Woman with a Pearl Necklace in a Loge, Vincent van Gogh’s Sunflowers, and Paul Cézanne’s The Large Bathers are among the highlights in the galleries of Impressionist and Post-Impressionist works that had only recently been reinstalled before the March closure.
Temporary exhibitions have been extended, including Fault Lines: Contemporary Abstraction by Artists from South Asia (though October 25); A Collector’s Vision: Highlights from Dietrich American Collection (through November 15); Horace Pippin: From War to Peace (through December); and Marisa Merz (through July 2021).
In the American galleries, beginning mid-September, Thomas Eakins’s The Gross Clinic will return from the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts to be reunited with the artist’s other famous medical painting, The Agnew Clinic, together bearing testimony to the triumphs of medicine in 19th-century Philadelphia. In recognition of the essential healthcare workers on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic, the exhibition Art of Care (September 16, 2020–January 3, 2021) will examine the ways in which artists have portrayed medical care over the last century.
Several new permanent-collection installations in the modern and contemporary art galleries will highlight works by women, Black artists, and other artists of color. Expanded Painting from the 1960s and 70s will feature works by Sam Gilliam, Dorothea Rockburne, Alma Thomas, and Jack Whitten, offering a fresh view of the history of nuanced and inclusive view of this period in the history of abstract painting (early October). Ghosts and Fragments presents works by Nick Cave, Lonnie Holley, Glenn Ligon, and Susan Rothenberg that conceptually speak to the haunting absences and fractured presences of marginalized bodies (early October). Painting Identity will explore how a diverse selection of 20th-century American artists used portraiture and figure painting to explore the characters of their subjects and reflect upon broader social issues, from Portrait of James Baldwin by Beauford Delaney and Taboo by Jacob Lawrence to Last Sickness by Alice Neel and Miss T by Barkley Hendricks (December).
Please note that until further notice the Dorrance Special Exhibition Galleries will be closed, along with two very small galleries in which social distancing and other safety precautions would not be possible: gallery 361 (room from Het Scheepje, or The Little Ship) and gallery 283 (Marcel Duchamp’s Étant donnés).
For a list of upcoming exhibitions and installations through spring 2021, see the advance schedule.
Public programs—such as evening performances, school visits, and family festivals—will be postponed until public health and safety conditions change favorably to facilitate large gatherings. The Perelman Building will also remain closed through the next year.
The completion of the Core Project phase of the Facilities Master Plan, overseen by architect Frank Gehry, has been delayed from fall 2020 to early 2021 (date to be announced) due to the pandemic. Visitors may look forward to seeing the newly refurbished and reopened Lenfest Hall (West Entrance), a vast new Forum space at the heart of the building, the completion of the Vaulted Walkway spanning 640 feet across the building from north to south at ground level, and two suites of generously sized new galleries on the first floor, each comprising more than 10,000 square feet. One suite will be inaugurated with a major reinstallation of American art spanning the years 1640 to 1840. New interpretations of this collection will explore the artistic ties linking North America, South America, and Asia; the role of enslavement in the production and financing of art throughout the period; Philadelphia's role as an influential cultural capital; and the stories and works of Black, women, and Indigenous artists. The other suite of new galleries will open with an exhibition celebrating art-making in Philadelphia today through the perspectives of a diverse selection of artists working in a variety of media. Together these new galleries will illuminate the exceptional range of creative expression that has flourished in Philadelphia past and present and reaffirm the spirit of resilience and innovation pervading the city today.
Philadelphia Museum of Art (Main Building)
Wednesday, 12:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m. (PWYW admission from 5:00–7:30 p.m.)
Thursday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Friday, 12:00 p.m.–7:30 p.m.
Saturday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
Sunday, 10:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
The Perelman Building, Mount Pleasant and Cedar Grove historic houses remain closed until further notice.
[Updated August 31, 2020]
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