The black covers are coming off, and the National Gallery’s doors are opening once again from June 2 although the gallery visiting experience will be a very different one for the time being.
“We are excited to be able to lift the covers off the art and once again share our collection and exhibitions with everyone. People have been asking when they can come back and it’s great to be able to name the date”, director Nick Mitzevitch said today (28 May).
The re-opening follows recent advice from the ACT Government that galleries can re-open with up to 20 visitors at a time. Visitors to the Gallery will need to pre-register for a timed ticketing session.
The Gallery has responded with a range of safety measures. These will include timed entry, a 20-person limit in galleries, sanitiser stations throughout the building, additional cleaning and the closure of small exhibition spaces.
Guests to the gallery will follow a sign-posted route of the exhibitions Belonging: Stories of Australian Art and XU ZHEN®: ETERNITY VS EVOLUTION, as well as the International Art collection display. All other exhibitions and displays will be closed for now.
In line with ACT Government recommendations, visitors will also be asked to provide their first name and contact number, which will only be used should contact tracing be required.
Visitor Experience staff and Gallery security will be available to assist visitors and monitor the flow of people through the Gallery
Mr Mitzevitch pointed to the important role art has played during the crisis, saying that “art has been a salvation for many people in these uncertain times”.
“We know immersion in art and culture will play an important role in bringing our local and national community back together,” he said.
“I am delighted the National Gallery will again be open to the Australian public to provide inspiration, joy and the opportunity for reflection.
“We will, of course, be ensuring a controlled environment that will safeguard the health and well-being of visitors. The gallery experience will be a little different as we work through the next couple of months, but the safety of visitors and minimising the risk of infection is our main priority.”
The Gallery has asked for understanding in adjusting to the new measures, which will enable the NGA to open again.
“The important thing is we all play our part to protecting each other and the community as together we reinvigorate Australia’s vibrant cultural and creative sector,” Mr Mitzevitch said.
Further details on the National Gallery of Australia’s safety measures and planning your visit are available here.