He noted that “I don’t mean this in any mean way. I mean it just as a description of how crippled places will be.”

Reopening Plans
Lowry made no promises about when the museum will reopen, though he estimated that it would be between July and September.

When the museum does open its doors, nearly everything about the visitor experience could change. “We should be the safest place to visit,” Lowry said, “so that means ensuring you have a contactless experience and ensuring that you don’t have to worry about social distance because we’ve dispersed viewers through the institution.”

The museum is considering time-ticketed entry, with as few as 1,000 visitors in the museum at a time. (The museum can and does host several thousand a day in normal times.) When the museum closed in March, it was on track to have about 3 million visitors this year; now, it expects to have less than 1.5 million.

MoMA is even reconsidering wall labels. “Are labels beneficial, or are they points of anxiety because people cluster to read them?” Lowry asked rhetorically. “What is the right spacing in this gallery for the number of works on display? We have to ask ourselves if this is the most popular painting in the museum, can we have it on a wall with eight other paintings now, or do we have to find some other space in which to show it? Or should we show it at all, because if we show it, it will force people to come and aggregate in uncomfortable ways?”

And that's before, he said, the museum turns to “the issue of should we change the content of what's on display because of the moment?” The answer, Lowry concluded, is that “I think there isn't a museum worth its salt that isn’t going to try to address the moment. It has to. That’s what we do anyway.”

This article was provided by Bloomberg News.

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