One by one, museums are slowly starting to reopen, following pandemic protocols
Art museums in the region are gradually reopening, and visitors can expect to find several new regulations for a safe visit. In general, a controlled entrance and limited crowds should provide a safe experience – and a necessary antidote to hectic topical events.
Hours are often limited and access is monitored. Most museums require advanced online registration. Wear a mask and observe each institution’s social distancing protocols. And be sure to check with the museum for the latest information before you go.
The Danforth Art Museum in Framingham at Framingham State University (danforth.framingham.edu) has three exhibits open to visitors: the multimedia “Midnight Blooms” by Rebecca Hutchins; “Passage” by Katherine Gulla, in various media; and Catherine Smith’s sculptural installation “A Cabinet of Curiosities”.
Lincoln’s deCordova Sculpture Park and Museum (decordova.org) opened its interior galleries with “Visionary New England” and “Transcendentental Modernism”, and its sculpture park offers safe and anxiety-free art viewing, with several new installations. Advance the necessary passes.
A lark in the park: Families find an outdoor escape at the Cordova Sculpture Park in Lincoln
The Fitchburg Art Museum (fitchburgartmuseum.org) presents “The BIG Picture,” a group exhibition of oversized photographs. The Worcester Art Museum (worcesterart.org) opened to the public on October 7; visitors (book tickets online) have one month to experience “Beyond Midnight”, featuring Paul Revere’s work, before it closes.
The Davis Museum at Wellesley College (wellesley.edu), like most museums on campus, remains closed, although it does offer scheduled virtual tours (call 781-283-2051). Likewise, the McMullen Museum of Art at Boston College (bc.edu). The Rose Art Museum in Waltham (brandeis.edu/rose) remains closed to the public, but several collection-based exhibitions remain available for virtual viewing. The Addison Gallery of American Art (addison.andover.edu) at Phillips Academy in Andover is closed. The Spellman Museum of Stamps & Postal History on the campus of Regis College in Weston also remains closed.
The trails at the Summer Star Wildlife Sanctuary in West Boylston are open for hiking (summerstarwildlife.wordpress.com), and its small exhibition space hosts nature paintings by Teri Malo.
The Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton (fullercraft.org) is open and has many exhibits, including Stephanie Cole’s multimedia “Secular Cathedral”.
The Worcester Art Museum (worcesterart.org) reopened earlier this month (advanced tickets required) and offers several free virtual programs. Exhibits include “Beyond Midnight: Paul Revere”, “Nature Imagined by Susan Swinand”, “Vincent van Gogh,” Portrait of the Roulin Postman, 1888 “and” Kimono Couture: The Beauty of Chiso “.
Openings for renowned exhibitions at the Museum of Fine Arts, featuring works by Basquiat (October 18) and Monet (November 15), would normally be news from the blockbuster museum. Both exhibitions (mfa.org) should always be on the art viewing calendar – and may be more viewer-friendly, thanks to limited crowds. The MFA offers a timed entry, some galleries being closed.
The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum (gardnermuseum.org) is showing its Sargent drawing exhibit, “Boston’s Apollo,” through October 12 – so hurry. Advance tickets to enter the museum are on sale online.
MIT’s List Visual Arts Center (listart.mit.edu) is closed. Harvard Art Museums (harvardartmuseums.org) remain closed until the end of 2020.
The Institute of Contemporary Art (icaboston.org) is open, with multiple stimulating exhibitions, as usual. Its new East Boston Watershed space is currently used as a food distribution site. An exhibition survey by American artist Sterling Ruby closes on October 12, but many galleries are open.
MASS MoCA (massmoca.org) timed entry (booking online), and with its 250,000 square feet of gallery space, represents a brilliant chance to view art while being socially distant. The museum has at least a dozen exhibits, although the Anselm Kiefer show will remain closed until next spring.
The Norman Rockwell Museum (nrm.org) also has timed entry and special times for the elderly and visitors with immune compromises.
The Clark Art Institute in Williamstown (clarkart.edu) has scheduled entry for its exhibits, which include Ground / Work, a new outdoor space that will open in October. Ground / Work includes installations by Jennie C. Jones, Analia Saban, Eva LeWitt and others. The Williams College Art Museum (artmuseum.williams.edu) is closed.
the north coast
October usually means crazy weather in Salem, when the entire city seems to be in costume. At least everyone should be wearing some sort of mask this year. The Peabody Essex Museum (pem.org) offers “The Salem Witch Trials 1692,” revisiting the macabre events that created Salem’s identity as a Halloween destination. On Thanksgiving weekend, PEM’s new South Asian gallery will open, showcasing the fascinating Herwitz collection of contemporary Indian art.
The Punto de Salem Urban Art Museum (puntourbanartmuseum.org) now has 75 large-scale murals and offers an outdoor chance to see art and stay safe.
The Cape Ann Museum in Gloucester (capeannmuseum.org) recently reopened to the public. “Odds Were Against Me” is an exhibition of women sculptors – including Anna Huntington and Katharine Lane Weems – in commemoration of the centenary of the 19th Amendment. CAM’s new Museum Green, a publicly accessible collection space (the James Center), also opened. Sitting next to the Route 128 entrance in Cape Ann, just off Grant Circle on Poplar Street, the James Center could become the new face of CAM.
Rockport Art Association and Museum (rockportartassn.org) presents its experimental exhibition “Unexpected 13” for two weeks, starting October 15th.
The North Shore Arts Association (nsarts.org) remains closed, but thumbnails of all galleries are available online.
The Rocky Neck Art Colony (rockyneckartcolony.org) features scalable online exhibits.
Keith Powers covers music and the arts for Gannett New England, Opera News and Leonore Overture. Follow @PowersKeith; send an email to [email protected]
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