Baltimore Museum of Art
Baltimore Museum of Art Photo by Ethan McLeod

The Baltimore Museum of Art will reopen at 25 percent capacity on Sept. 16, while requiring staff and visitors to wear masks and taking other precautions to limit the spread of coronavirus, the museum announced on Thursday.

“After several months of closure, we are very much looking forward to returning to the museum,” Chris Bedford, the BMA’s Dorothy Wagner Wallis Director, said in a statement. “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 part of the BMA’s phased reopening, the museum will welcome a maximum of 350 visitors per day starting on Sept. 16. At that time, the BMA will open a limited number of galleries and gathering spaces, including the East Lobby; Terrace Gallery; African, Asian, and European art galleries; and other spaces.

The museum will later open its Antioch Court, Cone Collection and contemporary art galleries on Sept. 23.

On Sept. 30, the BMA will open the remainder of the building. By that date, the museum will also expand its capacity to 525 visitors per day.

The museum will be open Wednesdays through Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and admission is free.

Visitors will only be able to enter the museum at the East Lobby entrance, where the BMA will install an exterior welcome area. They will be able to exit from the Zamoiski East Entrance, Merrick Historic Entrance and Wurtzburger School Entrance.

The BMA is strongly encouraging visitors to reserve free, timed-entry passes, which will be available in 15-minute intervals on the museum’s website.

BMA members can reserve passes starting on Aug. 28, and the general public can reserve passes starting on Sept. 4.

The museum will have up to six additional passes per 15-minute interval available for walk-up guests.

Visitors can access the BMA shop, lobby restrooms, and Gertrude’s Chesapeake Kitchen without passes while abiding by each space’s capacity limits.

Groups can be no larger than five individuals.

Guests have been able to visit the museum’s Janet and Alan Wurtzburger Sculpture Garden and Ryda and Robert H. Levi Sculpture Garden since it reopened in June. The sculpture gardens are open Tuesdays through Sundays, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The BMA will require all staff and visitors to wear a mask and provide a mask to visitors who arrive without one.

Throughout the building, the museum will install hand sanitizer stations and signage about social distancing, sanitary practices, capacity limits, and one-way traffic.

“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,” Bedford said. “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.”

The BMA will resume its 2020 Vision exhibitions, which will showcase works by women artists. The program will continue through the rest of 2020 and will be extended into 2021 to make up for time lost while the museum was closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The museum will feature 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 starting on Sept. 23.

Two video installations by South African artist Candice Breitz, together titled “Candice Breitz: Too Long, Didn’t Read,” will reopen on Sept. 30 without an admission fee.

Also on Sept. 30, the BMA will open “A Perfect Power: Motherhood and African Art,” exploring 19th- and early 20th-century iconography related to motherhood in Central Africa.

Upcoming 2020 Vision highlights will include works created by Lakota women in the late 19th century; solo presentations of works by Tschabalala Self, Lisa Yuskavage, and Sharon Lockhart; and a Joan Mitchell retrospective that will premier at the BMA in March 2021 and later travel to other venues.

The BMA’s expanded outdoor and virtual programming will include a presentation of Kota Ezawa’s video National Anthem in the Latrobe Spring House through Nov. 29, virtual tours via BMA Go Mobile, and online presentations of works by Baltimore-based artists through BMA Salon and BMA Screening Room.

“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,” Bedford said.

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Marcus Dieterle

Marcus Dieterle is the managing editor of Baltimore Fishbowl. He returned to Baltimore in 2020 after working as the deputy editor of the Cecil Whig newspaper in Elkton, Md. He can be reached at marcus@baltimorefishbowl.com...