Saturday, July 20, 2024

The MIT Museum, seen in 2011. (Photo: Josh Graciano via Flickr)

There’s no recent word on reopenings from Harvard’s various museums of science and art, but the MIT Museum put a stake in the ground Friday: It’s closed until at least 2021.

“We are heartened to watch as Massachusetts-based museums and other cultural organizations begin to welcome visitors to their sites once again. However, as a member of the MIT community, our museum is following the institute’s plan to cautiously limit the number of people allowed back,” museum director John Durant said in an email. “Therefore, our building will remain closed to the public through Dec. 31.”

Like other public places, museums closed mid-March to stop the spread of the coronavirus. A phased statewide reopening saw visitors allowed again as of July in galleries from Boston’s Institute of Contemporary Art to Mass MoCA in North Adams, with advance tickets and timed entries aimed at avoiding crowds.

But coronavirus cases are on the rise again, which helps build the case against reopening.

Harvard Art Museums have not set a date to reopen, representatives told media in July. The List Visual Arts Center, a contemporary art museum, similarly says simply that it will remain closed until further notice. Lesley University, which has an arts campus near Porter Square and four galleries – three in its Lunder Arts Center and one in its University Hall – hasn’t updated information on them since announcing roughly five months ago that “All March and April events are canceled.”

The Massachusetts Institute of Technology plans to bring back only seniors for undergraduate classes in the fall. Harvard plans to house only up to 40 percent of its undergraduates. And Lesley University expects to see students for only a handful of classes that can’t be handled online, such as art studios, and will have no residence halls open, though “January and spring semester plans may allow for more students to return to campus, if conditions improve substantially.” No student will be required to work on-site, though, according to the Lesley website, and no first-year art students will be working on campus.