Shelburne Museum will not open for summer due to concerns related to the coronavirus pandemic, museum director Thomas Denenberg announced Monday. For the first time in its 73-year history, all exhibition buildings, the grounds and the Museum Store will remain closed through the spring and summer months. Exhibitions will be canceled or postponed, and events and activities, educational programming and rental events will be canceled or rescheduled.
The decision to close was difficult, Denenberg said, and was made following state and federal health officials’ advice.
“While we weighed that advice with our paramount concern for the safety of our extended Shelburne Museum family — staff, volunteers and visitors — we really saw no other alternative,” Denenberg said. “We also took into account the lead time necessary to bring the museum’s 45-acre campus with 39 buildings and galleries safely back into full operation.”
A date has not been scheduled for the museum to reopen, and that decision will be based on ongoing monitoring of the pandemic and recommendations of health officials, Denenberg said.
With the physical campus closed, the museum has ramped up remote outreach to provide resources to educators and learners of all ages. The museum’s first online exhibition, Color, Pattern, Whimsy, & Scale, opened on April 18. The museum’s robust social media content offers viewers behind-the-scenes looks at objects as seen through the eyes of museum conservators, video tours by curators, webinars highlighting exhibitions and activities for families and children.
— Sarah Asch