mfah reopens

Museum of Fine Arts, Houston announces highly anticipated reopening date

MFAH announces highly anticipated reopening date

MFAH art mask Amedeo Modigliani, Léopold Zborowski, c. 1916, oil on canvas
 A playful modern take on Amedeo Modigliani's Léopold Zborowski, c. 1916, oil on canvas, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, gift of Audrey Jones Beck.   Image courtesy of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Since abruptly closing due to COVID-19 concerns like its Museum District counterparts, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston has maintained a high online presence, as evidenced by its myriad digital programs and the release of its one-of-a-kind digital space for Latin American art.

All the while, however, a team at the MFAH focused on reopening for its 650 staff members and visitors. As CultureMap previously reported, the plan was to announce a reopening date “as soon as all those aspects are in view” — and that day has come.

The MFAH’s galleries and our house museums — Rienzi and Bayou Bend Collection and Gardens — will reopen to the public Saturday, May 23, according to a letter to MFAH members from director, Gary Tinterow. The reopening will ensure that “social-distancing and additional health and safety precautions in place.”

That means visitors to the museum’s main campus, Bayou Bend, and Rienzi must wear masks and observe the museum’s safety protocols; Tinterow advises guests to read up on those guidelines here.

Tinterow notes that the MFAH team has been “thoughtfully preparing for our reopening,” in coordination with Texas Gov. Greg Abbott’s Reopen Texas guidelines, which authorized museums to open as of May 1.

“We recognize that circumstances may change at any moment,” Tinterow explains. “But we remain hopeful that we will be able to serve our public under the safest possible conditions and under new norms, ones to which Houstonians across the city are already becoming accustomed.”

The MFAH isn’t the first major museum to reopen in the district: the Houston Museum of Natural Science opened its doors on Friday, May 15.