August 26, 2020
BMA Announces Plans to Reopen in September 2020
The Museum’s 2020 Vision Initiative Focusing on the Achievements of
Female-Identifying Artists Will Resume and Be Extended into 2021
BALTIMORE, MD (August 27, 2020)—The Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) announced today that it will begin a phased reopening on September 16, with the intention of having all of its galleries and gathering spaces accessible to visitors by September 30, 2020. The museum will be open Wednesdays through Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with timed-entry passes available to BMA members beginning Friday, August 28 and the general public on Friday, September 4. The Sculpture Gardens are already open Tuesdays through Sundays, from 10 a.m. to dusk. The BMA also released its health and safety protocols, which include details regarding timed and limited entry to the museum, PPE requirements, changes to visitor flow, and planned signage to remind visitors about social distancing, capacity limits, and sanitary practices. The BMA plans to welcome up to 25 percent of its capacity, or 350 visitors per day, on September 16 and increase to 525 visitors per day by September 30. The BMA’s reopening remains contingent on state and city guidelines, and the museum is prepared to alter its timelines should further precautions be necessary to slow the spread of COVID-19 and ensure the safety of staff and visitors.
Upon reopening, the BMA will resume its planned roster of 2020 Vision exhibitions, which explore and celebrate the achievements of female-identifying artists and leaders. While 2020 Vision was originally developed as a year-long curatorial and programmatic initiative, it will now be extended and unfold throughout the remainder of 2020 and into 2021. The museum will reopen with exhibitions that debuted in March—just weeks or in some cases days before the museum temporarily closed in response to COVID-19. Focused solo presentations of works by Zackary Drucker, Katharina Grosse, Valerie Maynard, Ana Mendieta, Elissa Blount Moorhead and Bradford Young, Howardena Pindell, Jo Smail, Shinique Smith, and SHAN Wallace will be on view beginning September 23, and Candice Breitz: Too Long, Didn’t Read, which features two poignant video installations by the South African artist, will reopen September 30 without an admission fee.
On September 30, the BMA will also open A Perfect Power: Motherhood and African Art, which explores the significance and power of iconography related to motherhood in Central Africa in the 19th and early 20th centuries. Among other upcoming 2020 Vision highlights are an exhibition of works created by Lakota women in the late 19th century, solo presentations of Tschabalala Self, Lisa Yuskavage, and Sharon Lockhart, and the much-anticipated Joan Mitchell retrospective, which will premiere at the BMA in March 2021 before traveling to other venues. The BMA will also continue its expanded outdoor and virtual programming, which includes the presentation of Kota Ezawa’s powerful video National Anthem in the Latrobe Spring House through November 29, updated tours of exterior artworks and architecture available through BMA Go Mobile, and website presentations of works by Baltimore-based artists through the BMA Salon and BMA Screening Room, two extensions of The Necessity of Tomorrow(s) series.
“After several months of closure, we are very much looking forward to returning to the museum. The BMA has long been guided by a belief in the importance of art to our social fabric. In difficult times, its ability to foster conversation and encourage new ways of thinking and considering the world around us feels particularly urgent and needed. As always, but in particular in this context, I am eager to once again welcome visitors to the BMA, and to share with them the incredible range of exhibitions and experiences that are part of our 2020 Vision and that have been developed during the time that we’ve been closed,” said Christopher Bedford, the BMA’s Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director.
BMA Health and Safety Protocols
- Reopening Schedule: The BMA will reopen its building in three phases, with a limited number of galleries and gathering spaces, including the East Lobby, Terrace Gallery, and African, Asian, and European art galleries, among others, opening on September 16. Additional portions of the museum will open on September 23, including the Antioch Court, Cone Collection, and contemporary art galleries. The building will become fully accessible on September 30. Should it become necessary to ensure the health and safety of staff and visitors, the BMA may alter the pace of reopening.
- Entry to the Museum: The BMA will install an exterior welcome area at the East Lobby entrance, which will serve as the only entrance to the museum and support social distancing measures and capacity management. Visitors will be strongly encouraged to reserve free, timed-entry passes, with 15 passes available in 15-minute intervals until 4:15 p.m. on the BMA’s website. Up to six additional passes per 15-minute interval will be available for walk-up guests. Groups will be limited to five individuals. The BMA Shop, lobby restrooms, and Gertrude’s Chesapeake Kitchen will be accessible without passes, in alignment with capacity limits for each space and interstitial areas. Visitors will be able to exit the museum through the Zamoiski East Entrance, Merrick Historic Entrance, and Wurtzburger School Entrance.
- PPE and Signage: All staff and visitors will be required to wear masks. Visitors who arrive to the welcome area without a mask will be provided with one by the BMA. Hand sanitizer stations will be installed at the welcome area and throughout the museum. Signage on the floors and walls will be used to help visitors maintain six feet of social distance and capacity limits in different galleries and spaces throughout the museum. Additional signage will indicate areas where one-way traffic may be required and provide reminders about important sanitary practices. Front-of-house staff will also be on hand to answer questions and help visitors move through the museum.
“The BMA’s dedicated team has been following closely the guidance of health and government officials and developed protocols that are in alignment with recommended best practices. We are confident that we have established systems and processes that will provide both a safe and enjoyable experience for the public,” added Bedford. “While some aspects of the experience will certainly be different, we are working hard to ensure that our visitors understand the changes and feel comfortable, assured, and engaged during their visit to the BMA.”
Additional information about the BMA’s health and safety protocols will be available on its website at artbma.org.
About the Baltimore Museum of Art
Founded in 1914, the Baltimore Museum of Art (BMA) inspires people of all ages and backgrounds through exhibitions, programs, and collections that tell an expansive story of art—challenging long-held narratives and embracing new voices. Our outstanding collection of more than 95,000 objects spans many eras and cultures and includes the world’s largest public holding of works by Henri Matisse; one of the nation’s finest collections of prints, drawings, and photographs; and a rapidly growing number of works by contemporary artists of diverse backgrounds. The museum is also distinguished by a neoclassical building designed by American architect John Russell Pope and two beautifully landscaped gardens featuring an array of modern and contemporary sculpture. The BMA is located three miles north of the Inner Harbor, adjacent to the main campus of Johns Hopkins University, and has a community branch at Lexington Market. General admission is free so that everyone can enjoy the power of art.