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Art and Culture Museums Jointly Announce Reopening

Health, Safety and Comfort of Visitors and Staff Are Top Priority

PHILADELPHIA, July 1, 2020

Art and culture is beginning to reopen in Philadelphia. Following a closure of over three months to protect against the spread of COVID-19, the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, the Barnes Foundation, Eastern State Penitentiary, The Franklin Institute, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts (PAFA), the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Rodin Museum have jointly announced plans to reopen with new health and safety protocols for staff and visitors, as state and city restrictions begin to lift.


Each cultural institution is determining its own opening date based on internal factors. Currently, The Franklin Institute will be the first to reopen on Wednesday, July 8, followed by the Barnes Foundation on Saturday, July 25 (with member previews on July 23, 24, and the morning of July 25), the Academy of Natural Sciences on Friday, July 31 (with member previews on July 24, 25 and 26), and PAFA on Saturday, September 12 (with previews for members and essential frontline workers September 3, 4, 5 and 6).


Eastern State Penitentiary and the Philadelphia Museum of Art — along with the Rodin Museum — expect to announce reopening dates and hours in the coming weeks. As all institutions continue to follow guidance from the state and city, plans and opening dates are subject to change.


After months of thorough planning and close coordination with one another, the cultural institutions along the Benjamin Franklin Parkway and Eastern State Penitentiary and PAFA look forward to once again welcoming visitors for rejuvenating cultural experiences, with the safety and well-being of staff, visitors and the broader community at top of mind. To ensure everyone’s safety, each cultural institution has carefully developed new health and safety protocols, following guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the Pennsylvania Department of Health and the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, and in consultation with national museum organizations, as well as fellow museums across the nation and around the world.


The Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University, the Barnes Foundation, Eastern State Penitentiary, The Franklin Institute, PAFA, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and Rodin Museum have committed to the following precautions and protocols for as long as necessary:


  • Masks/face-coverings for visitors and staff are required
  • For most institutions, advance-reservations are encouraged or required to facilitate contactless transactions, and timed ticketing is in place to control the number of visitors
  • All are expected to practice social distancing
  • Limited building capacity to facilitate social distancing
  • All public spaces and surfaces cleaned and disinfected throughout the day
  • Hand sanitizer stations installed
  • Installation of plexiglass partitions in admissions and other areas


Comprehensive health and safety protocols for staff and visitors will be available on the websites of each museum prior to reopening.


Further details on each cultural institution’s opening dates, and special exhibitions on view, are listed below:

  • The Franklin Institute – Public opening: Wednesday, July 8, 10 a.m.6 p.m. (last entry 4 p.m.)
  • The Barnes Foundation – Public opening: Saturday, July 25, noon–7 p.m.
    • Member previews: Thursday, July 23, 10 a.m.–7 p.m., Friday, July 24, 10 a.m.–7 p.m., and Saturday, July 25, 10 a.m.–noon
    • Open hours: Fridays–Mondays, 11 a.m.–5 p.m., (10–11 a.m. member-only hour)
    • Marie Cuttoli: The Modern Thread from Miro to Man Ray (through August 23)
  • Academy of Natural Sciences – Public opening: Friday, July 31, 11 a.m.–5 p.m.
    • Member previews: Friday, July 24, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Saturday, July 25, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., and Sunday, July 26, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
    • Open hours: Fridays–Sundays, 11 a.m.–5 p.m. (10–11 a.m. members-only hour)
    • Survival of the Slowest (through October 25)
  • PAFA – Public opening: Saturday, September 12, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
    • Previews for members and essential frontline workers (Historic Landmark Building): Thursday, September 3, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Friday, September 4, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Saturday, September 5, 10 a.m.–5 p.m., Sunday, September 6, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.
    • Open hours: Thursdays–Fridays, 10 a.m.–4 p.m., Saturdays, 10 a.m.–5 p.m. (10 a.m.–12 p.m. reserved for visitors who are at a higher risk for contracting illnesses, including immunocompromised persons), and Sundays, 10 a.m.–5 p.m.

Late summer opening dates for Eastern State Penitentiary, the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Rodin Museum (which is administered by the Philadelphia Museum of Art) will be announced in the coming weeks.


Joint statement from museum leaders:


“Philadelphia’s museum community has been preparing to reopen since the day the COVID-19 health crisis forced us to close. While these have been trying times for the entire global community, and we will continue to feel the impact of this crisis for the foreseeable future, we are eager to begin welcoming our visitors back soon to find inspiration, educational experiences and solace. If our welcome can’t yet be with open arms, it will certainly be with smiles behind our masks.”


Signed by:


Scott Cooper, President and CEO, Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University


Thom Collins, Neubauer Family Executive Director and President, The Barnes Foundation


Sally Elk, President and CEO, Eastern State Penitentiary Historic Site


Larry Dubinski, President and CEO, The Franklin Institute


David R. Brigham, President and CEO, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Brooke Davis Anderson, Edna S. Tuttleman Director of the Museum, Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts

Timothy Rub, George D. Widener, Director and CEO, Philadelphia Museum of Art

Gail Harrity, President and Chief Operating Officer, Philadelphia Museum of Art