A Talk With the Head of the Art Institute of Chicago About Reopening

By Steve Johnson
James Rondeau on Wednesday, Jan. 27, 2016 at the Art Institute of Chicago.(Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune)
For big cultural institutions closed by coronavirus, reopening is in the air. The Morton Arboretum in Chicago’s western suburbs Tuesday announced it will start welcoming visitors again June 1. The Cleveland Museum of Art that same day said it will reopen June 30, reportedly the first major American art museum to do so. With state and city officials recently outlining the rules for reopening in five separate phases, Chicago museums have a clearer view of what it might take for them to come back into public life. The arboretum, with an open-air, 1,700-acre campus, clearly has an advantage in allowing social distancing. But big museums, the thinking is, should be able to unlock their doors earlier than, say, theaters or music clubs because, they, too have open space — plus a clientele that can generally be trusted to follow directions. [More]

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