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Local museums try to reopen amid pandemic

Posted at 7:07 PM, Sep 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-30 19:07:38-04

NEW YORK — Arts and culture museums are just some of the reasons why New York is such a unique place to live.

But these jewels were closed to the public in March because of the pandemic. In recent weeks, these institutions have begun reopening their doors, and have changed with the times.

Now the Guggenheim is joining the growing list of organizations set to reopen Saturday, Oct. 3. New hours are from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday through Monday.

“We’re happy to see people back in the museum. From my point of view, the museum only really comes alive when people are inside,” says Guggenheim’s Senior Director Trevor Tyrrell.

With the recent spike in cases across parts of the city, Tyrrell says COVID-19 safety guidelines will be enforced. Masks must always be worn. Capacity will be limited to 25% and tickets must be reserved online to reduce the amount of foot traffic at any given time.

Upon arrival, visitors can also check out new exhibits like Away from the Easel: Jackson Pollock’s Mural, a focused presentation of the first monumental painting by Jackson Pollock, commissioned for Peggy Guggenheim’s Manhattan home in 1943, and Knotted, Torn, Scattered: Sculpture after Abstract Expressionism, featuring a range of approaches to sculptural practice from the 1960s and ’70s, with works from the Guggenheim collection by Lynda Benglis, Maren Hassinger, Robert Morris, Senga Nengudi, Richard Serra, and Tony Smith.

But, you don’t have to hop on a train and go into New York City to get a taste of the arts and culture scene. The Long Island Museum in Stony Brook offers a unique experience.

According to Deputy Director, Joshua Ruff, museum goers are blown away when they visit.

“I think that sometimes people don’t realize just how much wonderful art and great museum objects are right here in their backyard,” says Ruff.

They’re open Friday, Saturday, and Sunday 12 to 5 p.m. and visitors must reserve tickets online. As a gift to the community, the Long Island Museum is offering free entry through the end of the year. Visitors can see different works of art from their signature Carriage Collection to the “Off the Rack” exhibitions that include 90 works of art from the 18th and 19th centuries.

But when it comes to the state of museums today, Ruff says they’ve managed to evolve with the changing times since reopening. That includes a new way for schools to visit the museum virtually. The program is designed to reach classrooms and homeschool students.

Like many other institutions, they have faced some financial setbacks brought on by the pandemic. Fortunately, through government aid and financial assistance from private foundations, they’ve managed to stay afloat. Something that other museums like the Guggenheim have been able to do during these difficult times.