When COVID-19 hit the region, the Smithsonian museums were one of the first places to shut its doors. Now after six months of closures, the Smithsonian announced it is reopening four of its DC museums on Friday, Sept. 18.
The museums opening on Friday include the National Portrait Gallery, the National Museum of African American History and Culture, the Smithsonian American Art Museum and the Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum. These museums will only be open from Wednesday to Sunday, with reduced hours of operation.
The Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center and the National Zoo were the first to reopen in July.
If you would like to visit one of these museums, you will now need to request a free timed-entry pass. All visitors will need a pass, regardless of their age and can reserve up to six passes per visit at si.edu/visit. The Renwick Gallery is the only museum that will not require passes.
These locations have also put numerous safety measures into place to ensure the health and safety of guests and staff. These precautions include masks for all visitors ages six and older, one-way paths and directional guidance, hand-sanitizing stations and capacity limits on both the museum and bathrooms.
The reopening of these museums also brings on new exhibitions. The National Portrait Gallery will be opening the “Her Story: A Century of Women Writers” and “Visionary: The Cumming Family Collection” exhibitions on Friday.
The “Her Story” exhibit will feature 24 female writers from the last 100 years, including Toni Morrison, Marilynne Robinson, Gwendolyn Brooks and more. The Cumming Family Collection will feature 22 portraits of world figures, from Warren Buffett and Nelson Mandela to Al Gore and the Dalai Lama. Both of these exhibitions run until January 2021.
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