Milwaukee Art Museum reopens July 16 with free admission for a month; masks required

MILWAUKEE -- The Milwaukee Art Museum will reopen to the public on July 16, with free admission for all visitors for one month, officials announced in a news release Monday, July 6. Museum members will have the opportunity to visit beginning one week earlier, on July 9.

According to the release, thanks to a gift from the Krei Family in Memory of Melinda, museum admission will be free through Aug. 16 "to welcome back the community, especially first responders and essential workers."

Hours are also being modified -- including opening a half hour earlier, which will be reserved for high-risk visitors.

Museum officials noted in the release this is the first step in a phased reopening of the museum to the public, and includes new protocols to support a healthy and safe environment for visitors and staff, including "robust cleaning procedures" and hand sanitizing stations at entrance points and in the galleries.

Staff and visitors are required to wear a face covering at all times, and signs and decals will be strategically placed throughout the museum to help promote safe social distancing.

Officials also noted new timed ticketing to further ensure safe social distancing. Visitors will be able to reserve their tickets up to two weeks in advance on the museum’s website, and agree to observe a set of basic guidelines, such as staying at home if they feel ill.

Guests will enter through Windhover Hall and proceed through the Collection Galleries along a dedicated pathway that encourages social distancing. Paintings from the American collection and a selection of masterworks from the Bradley Collection from the second floor are being moved to broaden the experience for visitors, with only the first floor open during this phase. Also being placed on view are newly acquired photographs.

The Museum Store will offer shopping in Windhover Hall, and Windhover Cafe will have coffee and a selection of menu items for enjoying on the go or outside on the terrace. New outdoor furniture is being added to Baumgartner Terrace and will be appropriately spaced. Parking will be available in both the Calatrava Garage and Museum Center Park.

In the release, officials said an internal task force was created to establish protocols that were required to be in place before staff and visitors could begin returning to campus, which continues to closely monitor guidelines and recommendations from local, national and global health organizations. The museum hosted a test period June 25-28 to analyze the new visitor experience, survey participants and make adjustments before the official reopening.

Staff deemed necessary to work on-site began returning to the Museum’s campus in mid-June. A large proportion of employees will continue working from home. The museum originally closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic on March 15.

Hours are as follows:

Thursdays:  9:30* a.m.–5 p.m, last online ticket slot at 3:30 p.m.

Fridays: 9:30* a.m.–5 p.m., last online ticket slot at 3:30 p.m.

Saturdays: 9:30* a.m.–5 p.m., last online ticket slot at 3:30 p.m.

Sundays: 9:30* a.m.–5 p.m., last online ticket slot at 3:30 p.m.

*9:30 is reserved for those who are high risk