The Art Institute of Chicago plans to reopen on July 30 with a free week of admissions for Illinois residents, museum officials announced on Wednesday.
The museum, like most cultural institutions and venues in Illinois, closed in March because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Under the newly announced reopening plan, the museum will have limited hours but members will be allowed inside an hour before the general public.
Like many other public spaces, the nearly 1 million-square-foot museum will require advanced online ticketing to meet capacity requirements, according to museum officials. Visitors will also be required to wear face coverings, and maintain appropriate distance.
In June, the Art Institute laid off 51 employees — about 8% of its staff — as a result of the economic downturn from the pandemic. A museum spokeswoman said that senior leadership had taken pay cuts between 40% and 50% before layoffs were implemented.
According to tax filings, the museum had $347 billion in revenue in 2017, and total attendance was about 1.6 million visitors in 2019. Current Art Institute exhibitions include El Greco: Ambition and Defiance, which is slated to run until October and features more than 50 works by El Greco, who was born Domenikos Theotokopoulos in the 16th Century. The museum offered an online tour of the exhibition when it closed in March. And Bauhaus Chicago: Design in the City, has been extended.
Monet and Chicago is scheduled to open on Sept. 3.
In recent weeks, other museums and cultural institutions have have announced reopening dates.
- The Lincoln Park Zoo opened on June 29 and is still free, but for the first time in its history guests had to book tickets online.
- The Illinois Holocaust Musuem and Education Center reopened on July 15th – with its exhibit about Ruth Bader Ginsburg still on display.
- The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago will reopen on July 24, and include a new exhibit about the coronavirus pandemic.
- The Museum of Science and Industry, which had 1.4 million visitors in 2019, has yet to announce a reopening date.
Carrie Shepherd is a reporter at WBEZ.