Confirming unofficial reports from late June, the Metropolitan Museum has announced that its Fifth Avenue location will reopen on August 29. Members will have early access to the museum on August 27 and 28. On March 13, the Met became the first major cultural institution in New York City to close due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Fifth Avenue museum will be open five days a week, with limited hours. On Saturday, Sunday, and Monday, it will be open from 10am to 5pm; on Thursday and Friday, it will be open from 12pm to 7pm. The Met Cloisters will not reopen until September. Meanwhile, the Met Breuer has closed permanently, with ownership of the building transferring to the Frick Collection.
Daniel H. Weiss, president and CEO of the museum, says, “The safety of our staff and visitors remains our greatest concern.”
The museum will slash its visitor capacity to a quarter of its previous allowance, and will require that visitors and staff wear face masks at all times, as well as keep at least six feet away from other people. Maps, audio guides, and brochures will no longer be available onsite, but are available for download; coat checking will also be unavailable.
“Opening The Met’s doors is an important signal for New York and for all of us,” said Max Hollein, the museum’s director. “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.”
Upon its reopening, the museum will introduce three new exhibitions: Making The Met, 1870–2020, The Roof Garden Commission: Héctor Zamora, Lattice Detour, and Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle.