New York’s Major Art Museums Temporarily Closed Due to Coronavirus

COVID-19 continues to spread around the globe with more than 140,000 people infected. Over 1,600 cases have been confirmed across 46 states in the US. In response to the coronavirus outbreak, major art institutions worldwide have announced a temporary closure.

New York State has reported over 600 positive cases of COVID-19. The New York City Mayor declared a state of emergency to fight the coronavirus outbreak on Thursday and to ban gatherings of more than 500 people. A number of museums and galleries are closing due to the coronavirus, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), Guggenheim Museum, Whitney Museum of American Art, Pace Gallery, Hauser & Wirth, Gagosian and David Zwirner Gallery.

MoMA is temporarily closed until 30 March

The reopening date varies between institutions. MoMA will remain closed until 30 March and will ‘reevaluate the situation at that time’. Some museums or galleries are closed indefinitely until further notice.

‘While we don’t have any confirmed cases connected to the Museum, we believe that we must do all that we can to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our community, which at this time calls for us to minimize gatherings while maintaining the cleanest environment possible,’ the Met museum posted on its website. The reopening date will be announced next week.

In celebration of the 150th anniversary of the MET, the museum originally scheduled an exhibition Making The Met, 1870–2020, which will now be postponed. No announcement has been made on whether the 2020 Met Gala will be postponed or cancelled. This year’s theme is About Time: Fashion and Duration, which will trace more than a century and a half of fashion.

The MET posted the statement on its website

The celebration exhibition Making The Met, 1870–2020 will be postponed

Museums in other major cities in the US are also closing, such as the National Gallery of Art and the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C.; The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) and The Institute of Contemporary Arts (ICA) in Boston; The Getty Museum in Los Angeles.

Smithsonian Institution is a group of museums and research centres administered by the Government of the United States. It is the world's largest museum, education and research complex, comprised of 19 museums and galleries, nine research centres, 21 libraries.

The U.S. government declared the coronavirus pandemic a national emergency, extending travel bans to the UK and Ireland. The auction house Christie’s has announced their decision to postpone most New York and Paris sales that will take place in March and April as well as the closing of most of their offices in Europe and the United States.