How Will Museums Bring Us Close to Art in an Era of Social Distancing?

By Jo Lawson-Tancred
Queen Mathilde of Belgium and King Philippe of Belgium visit the permanent collection of the Old Masters Museum in Brussels, part of the Royal Museums of Fine Arts of Belgium, on 19 May 2020, as the country eases lockdown measures taken to curb the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic. Photo: Daina Le Lardic/Belga/AFP via Getty Images
The rapid succession of museum closures between January and March is still a recent event but, as major museums in Asia and mainland Europe start to tentatively reopen their doors, we are now getting early glimpses of the ‘new normal’. In the UK, museums can reopen no earlier than July, in the third phase of the government’s exit plan. The Art Institute of Chicago, for example, hopes to reopen on 1 July, while the PĂ©rez Art Museum Miami, conscious of the quality of experience it will be able to offer, is aiming for 1 September. The institutions forced to wait, and keen museum-goers, are looking on apprehensively to gauge their success. Caution has widely triumphed over urgency. [More]