Georgia Museum of Art (copy)

The Georgia Museum of Art reopened Aug. 13 after closures due to COVID-19.

The Georgia Museum of Art began welcoming visitors on Aug. 13, after being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The museum’s current hours are Thursday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m., Friday and Saturday from 10 a.m.-5 p.m. and Sunday from 1-5 p.m. Visitors can reserve free timed-tickets through the museum’s website. Here’s some more about my experience visiting the museum Thursday night.

I reserved the tickets through the website on Thursday morning, about nine hours before the time I wanted to arrive at the museum. There was no issue getting tickets for the time slot I wanted.

After I reserved the tickets, I got an email explaining the museum’s protocols regarding COVID-19. The email said to wear a mask, and if I happened to forget to bring one, they would provide one for me. Visitors under the age of 11 weren’t required to wear a mask. The email also said to follow social distancing guidelines, room capacity limits (for the museum shop and elevators) and use the hand sanitizing stations set up around the museum.

Guests have a 30-minute time slot to arrive at the museum but can stay as long as they like, according to the email. I arrived about halfway through my timeslot of 7-7:30 p.m. The email included scannable QR codes for when I checked into the museum, but the museum staff member who checked me in just asked for my name. The staff member went over the museum’s COVID-19 guidelines as she checked me in.

Throughout the galleries, there is signage reminding guests to wear their masks and social distance. There weren’t any paper materials, like brochures, in the galleries. Some QR codes on the walls of the galleries provided information regarding the art that would normally be provided by brochures.

GMA sign

A sign reads "Welcome Back!" and lists CDC guidelines in a gallery at the Georgia Museum of Art. (Photo/Erin Kenney)

The galleries were pretty empty, I only saw a couple of other groups the entire time I was at the museum. This might be because I went on a Thursday night; it could potentially be more crowded on the weekend.

In the Louis Comfort Tiffany Collection, one of the museum’s temporary exhibits, materials had been removed from an interactive exhibit– where visitors originally wrote their thoughts on the collection and posted them on the wall. A sign said the museum moved the materials because of COVID-19. The last day to view the Tiffany Collection at the museum is Sunday, Sept. 6, although there is a virtual tour on the museum’s YouTube channel.

A new exhibit on the works of the romantic modernist Carl Holty opened Aug. 29, and one on contemporary Japanese ceramics opened Saturday.

Friday morning, I received an email with a survey asking about my experience at the museum, with questions regarding my comfort level with the museum’s sanitation and my thoughts on the online ticket process.

My experience at the museum was pretty enjoyable; the timed-tickets were hassle-free and there was no difficulty in maintaining social distance inside the museum. Considering it’s a free, relatively safe activity to do during the COVID-19 pandemic, I’d definitely visit again.

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