Museums vs. the Coronavirus


Zephyr Lipman-Wulf, Arts & Entertainment

Since the horrible Coronavirus outbreak, many places have been forced to close until further notice. Museums were unfortunately one of the virus’s victims. Most museums or galleries are in large buildings, so they’re made to hold many people. Due to the need to be six feet apart, only so many people are allowed to be inside of the building at one time. Hundreds of museums all over the world were forcibly shut down starting in early March, and only now are some of them reopening. Some of the main and most diverse museums in New York, including the Metropolitan, Guggenheim, and the Whitney, announced their temporary closing in early March of 2020. As said best by Nancy Kenney from The Art Newspaper in an article titled Here are the museums that have closed (so far) due to coronavirus”,Led by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York, a flurry of US museums announced on 12 March that they were shutting down.”  

 Places like museums and art galleries are the source of many people’s jobs, without them, most if not all were put out of work. Schools with multiple art programs (including Pierson) would, in a normal situation, be visiting about 2 museums within the 4 quarters of the year for a section of their grade. This unfortunately is not possible because of the government shutdown. I personally would have enjoyed visiting the Solomon R. Guggenheim as planned with my IB Visual arts teacher and classmates for not only inspiration, but also more art knowledge. Art students from all over the world have suffered a great deal from lack of these field trips and demonstrations. Usually an art class would visit museums or galleries several times a year within a span of 2 years. This is a key part of their class, and without this exposure, they are missing out on valuable information that they could have used. 

Though you are unable to visit these museums in person, you can watch a virtual tour on your phone or computer from the comfort of your own home. This way, you can’t possibly expose yourself to the virus. You can access these tours through Google’s art and culture platform. The site offers tours for the following museums in New York City: the Metropolitan, the Brooklyn Museum, the Cooper Hewitt, the Museum of Modern Art, and the Solomon R. Guggenheim. In the hopefully near future when museums reopen, you will be prompted before entering the building to keep a safe distance from others and to be wearing the proper face covering at all times. Nevertheless, this pandemic will eventually end, and our lives will finally be able to resume back to normal.