More masks in Boston’s art museums


After 16 months without facial expression, Director of the Institute of Contemporary Art Jill Medvedow is eager to see the smiles of visitors again in the galleries of her museum. “The combination of art and people is powerful,” she said.

Medvedow and leaders of the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum of Fine Arts and Museums have coordinated throughout the pandemic to deliver cohesive messages to their visitors.

“I think it’s really important for us to be able to clearly communicate with our different and diverse audiences what they can expect,” Medvedow explained.

In accordance with guidelines from the CDC, Massachusetts and Boston, the three museums are lifting mask requirements for those vaccinated, as well as social distancing.

“It’s so exciting,” Medvedow said of this milestone moment, “the fact that we can now, once again, fully share in the pleasures and sense of community that we provide, that we love, that we have missed so much. “

Each institution has their own unique exhibition calendars and footprints to manage, so they will take their own approaches to increasing capacity over time in their galleries. Here are some of what you can expect when you go.

The Institute of Contemporary Art

Starting May 29, the ICA, along with the Gardner and MFA, will require anyone who is not fully vaccinated to wear a face covering at all times inside the museum. Vaccinated visitors, as well as staff and contractors, can go without a mask. Advanced and Timed tickets are highly recommended as the ICA returns to normal, but Director Jill Medvedow said people can now come around and buy a timed ticket if there is availability / space. Outdoor shows will resume in July. Indoor performances return in the fall.

The Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum

Timed tickets are always required. The Gardner Museum will not immediately return to full capacity, but plans to gradually increase its staff in the weeks and months to come. Like the ICA, the museum will no longer require social distancing. Indoor concerts resume in the fall.

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston

The MFA will increase the capacity of the galleries throughout the month of June. Beginning in July, visitors will only need to pre-book scheduled tickets for “Monet and Boston: Legacy Illuminated” and “Writing the Future: Basquiat and the Hip-Hop Generation”.


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