NEW YORK – As matters heat up in New York City over the issue of outdoor dining vs. outdoor drinking, with Gov. Andrew Cuomo coming down hard on some liquor establishments and bars across the state, patrons of arts would be heartened by the news of the Metropolitan Museum of Art opening its doors to visitors starting from Saturday, August 29, 2020.
The Met Museum, the largest art museum in the United States, has been closed since March 13, 2020, and had previously not been closed for more than three days in over a century. It received more than 6.4 million visitors in 2019 to its three locations in New York City, and was the fourth most visited art museum in the world.
Daniel H. Weiss, President and CEO of The Met, said in a statement: “The safety of our staff and visitors remains our greatest concern. We are eager to reopen and expect this will be possible next month. Perhaps now more than ever the Museum can serve as a reminder of the power of the human spirit and the capacity of art to bring comfort, inspire resilience, and help us better understand each other and the world around us.”
The Met’s Fifth Avenue building—which is over two million square feet—will be open five days a week, Thursday through Monday. On Saturdays, Sundays, and Mondays, it will be open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The Museum will offer later hours on Thursdays and Fridays and be open from noon to 7 p.m. The Met Cloisters will open in September, according to press materials.
“Opening The Met’s doors is an important signal for New York and for all of us. We have never been forced to close for longer than three days—much less five months—and we can’t wait to welcome visitors to a wide range of compelling exhibitions and our permanent collection, which spans over 5,000 years of human creativity,” said Max Hollein, Director of The Met. “This will be a time for New Yorkers to reconnect with their favorite artworks and spaces in their Museum. So many people have reached out during the time of closure to express how much they miss being at The Met, and we are eager to welcome all back to the galleries.”
The Museum has developed comprehensive safety procedures for its staff and visitors, following guidelines issued by the Centers for Disease Control, New York State, and New York City.
The measures include limiting the number of visitors to 25 percent of the Museum’s maximum capacity and enhancing cleaning procedures, in addition to requiring visitors and staff to wear face coverings at all times. All who enter the building will be asked to practice physical distancing by maintaining at least six feet from others, and handwashing and hand sanitizing will be encouraged throughout the Museum. Visitors can download the map, Audio Guide, and brochures in advance of visiting as printed materials and Audio Guide devices will not be available.
The Museum has included additional signage throughout the building to assist visitors with navigating the galleries and staying safe while visiting.
When the Museum reopens, three new exhibitions will be unveiled: Making The Met, 1870–2020, the signature exhibition of the institution’s 150th-anniversary year that will lead visitors on an immersive, thought-provoking journey through The Met’s history; The Roof Garden Commission: Héctor Zamora, Lattice Detour, a site-specific installation for The Met’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, which will be set against dramatic views of Central Park and Manhattan; and Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle, which will present the American Modernist’s striking and little-known multi-paneled series Struggle . . . From the History of the American People (1954–56).
The Museum says it will continue its robust virtual offerings on the website and The Met’s social media channels, and new programs; events; performances; conversations with curators, educators, and artists; and activities will be added throughout the summer and fall.
The MetLiveArts digital premiere of Nrityagram’s Samhāra Revisited, which was originally performed at the Museum’s Temple of Dendur in October 2018, was streamed on July 18. On Tuesday, July 21, in conjunction with the exhibition Gerhard Richter: Painting After All—which opened at The Met Breuer just nine days before the Museum’s forced closure—a new “Artists on Artworks” featured a discussion between Sheena Wagstaff, the Leonard A. Lauder Chairman of Modern and Contemporary Art, and artist Cecily Brown.
In a “Teen Studio” on Wednesday, July 22, high school students can participate in a virtual collage workshop led by a Museum educator. This year’s “Women and the Critical Eye” series will take place virtually on Tuesday, July 28, with a conversation between artist Wangechi Mutu, whose sculptures The NewOnes, will free Us have graced The Met’s historic facade since September 2019, and Kelly Baum, Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon Polsky Curator of Contemporary Art.
MANJUL BHARGAVA PERFORMS AT MOMATH
In response to the impact of Covid-19 on families and schools worldwide, New York City’s National Museum of Mathematics (MoMath) annual summer Math Festival went online with a non-stop six-hour day of free math games, puzzles, brainteasers, music, magic, and hands-on math, to audiences globally, this past weekend.
With museums and schools closed in New York City and across the world due to Covid-19, MoMath has dramatically transformed itself into a growing virtual, cultural, and educational attraction offering online programs that in the past were available only to visitors to the museum in Manhattan.
The festival featured ‘A Four-Card Mathematical Magic Trick’ by Fields Medalist and Professor of Mathematics at Princeton University, Manjul Bhargava. He demonstrated how one can create surprising complexity from extreme simplicity with just four playing cards.
There were some other engaging performances, and shows, at the festival.
Mathematician and world mime performer Tim Chartier investigated the weight, magnitude of force, and projectile motion with the art of mime; professional juggler and math educator John Chase showed the powerful connections between mathematics and juggling, and explained how math modeling has given jugglers all kinds of new patterns to juggle.
Also in the limelight was former Guinness World Record holder Daniel Rose-Levine, who demonstrated how he solves the Rubik’s Cube with his feet in under 20 seconds; and OrigamiUSA president Wendy Zeichner taught origami action models that can be folded from regular printer paper.
The CEO of “Living Maths” in South Africa, Steve Sherman, hosted a wacky and zany internet based game; and joining the fun was math teacher and rapper Mike Andrejkovics, who shared one of his many Math Raps, and discussed how he got started rapping about math, and explored the mathematical ideas and references in his rap.
TAGORE’S WORKS FEATURES IN ART SALE
DAG in New York City will host an online panel discussion on July 25, in conjunction with an art sale.
Gilles Tillotson, art historian and curator of DAG’s current exhibition, Primitivism and Modern Art, will introduce rare works by masters of Indian Modernism, during the discussion. He will be joined by Deborah Larrison, Managing Director, Division Custom Credit Executive, Bank of America; Yatin Doshi, Wealth Management Advisor, Merrill Lynch; and David French, Director of Philanthropy, Lennox Hill Neighborhood House. The discussion will be moderated by Kishore Singh, Consultant, DAG.
From July 25-August 5, Dag will hold a fixed price bespoke sale of works of masters of Indian Modernism, including Nobel Laureate Rabindranath Tagore, Tyeb Mehta, M F Husain, F N Souza, S H Taza, George Keyt and Zarina Hashmi.
(Sujeet Rajan is Executive Editor, Parikh Worldwide Media. Email him: firstname.lastname@example.org Follow him on Twitter @SujeetRajan1)