The Walters Art Museum reopens to the public on September 16 after a six-month closure due to COVID-19. As part of a phased reopening plan and in accordance with guidelines from the State of Maryland and City of Baltimore, the museum will open with limited capacity and increased safety measures that include required face masks, social distancing, and added facility cleaning.
“We are excited to invite people back into the museum and to once again share the art of this incredible collection with our community,” said Julia Marciari-Alexander, Andrea B. and John H. Laporte Director. “The Walters is guided by the belief that art and history play vital roles in shaping people’s lives and connecting us with each other. Although we’ve been able to shift much of our onsite programming to the digital realm and will continue to offer these resources online for free, we are eager to reopen our physical doors and welcome visitors back.”
The museum initially closed in March. During the closure, the museum’s pandemic response team has worked with both city and state agencies, including the CDC, to develop procedures that help ensure the safety of both staff and visitors.
In the first phase, the Centre Street building will reopen at 25 percent capacity, with hours from Wednesday through Sunday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. All in-person programming and groups tours will be suspended during this first phase. Advanced ticketing is not required.
Other areas of the museum—such as Hackerman House at 1 West Mount Vernon Place, the Palazzo building, the Museum Store and Cafe, Family Art Center, and auditorium—remain closed until a later date. In-person tours, programs, and events will resume during a later reopening phase. In the meantime, visitors are encouraged to visit the museum’s website for new digital resources.
“Museum staff has worked diligently to meet the challenges of this pandemic, and we are confident that these changes and practices will keep our staff and visitors safe,” Marciari-Alexander said. “We will always aim to provide the best possible Walters experience, even during challenging times.”
Visitors can expect the following changes and should plan their visit with the following information:
Required masks or face coverings for all staff, volunteers, and visitors
Masks or face coverings are required in the museum for all staff and visitors, including children over the age of two. Complimentary masks are available.
Increased facility cleaning
The museum is cleaned multiple times a day, following CDC and OSHA guidelines, with a focus on high-touch areas like restrooms, elevators, handrails, and door handles. Touchless hand sanitizer stations are available throughout the museum.
Limited number of visitors
The museum capacity is monitored closely to allow for physical distancing throughout the building, especially in elevators and restrooms. If capacity is reached, you may need to wait before entering some spaces. Groups of 10 or more will be asked to break into smaller groups.
Helpful signage and staff
New signs and messages have been installed to help communicate health measures, foot traffic patterns, capacity limitations in small spaces, and wayfinding.
Some additional seating and touchable interactives in the galleries have been removed. Additionally, the locker rooms are temporarily closed so visitors are asked to leave large (any bag over 11″ x 15″) bags and umbrellas at home.
The museum is open between 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. We look forward to resuming Late Night Thursdays soon!
For a complete list of visitor guidelines and COVID-19 safety procedures implemented by the Walters, please visit thewalters.org.
ABOUT THE WALTERS ART MUSEUM
The Walters Art Museum is a cultural hub in the heart of Baltimore, located in the city’s Mount Vernon neighborhood. The museum’s collection spans more than seven millennia, from 5000 BCE to the 21st century, and encompasses 36,000 objects from around the world. Walking through the museum’s historic buildings, visitors encounter a stunning panorama of thousands of years of art, from romantic 19th-century images of French gardens to mesmerizing Ethiopian icons, richly illuminated Qur’ans and Gospel books, ancient Roman sarcophagi, and serene images of the Buddha. Since its founding, the Walters’ mission has been to bring art and people together to create a place where people of every background can be touched by art. As part of this commitment, admission to the museum and special exhibitions is always free.
Admission to the museum is free. The Walters Art Museum is located at 600 N. Charles St., north of Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. For general museum information, call 410-547-9000 or visit thewalters.org.
Free access to the Walters Art Museum, online and in person, is made possible through the combined generosity of individual members and donors, foundations, corporations, and grants from the City of Baltimore, Maryland State Arts Council, Citizens of Baltimore County, and Howard County Government and Howard County Arts Council.