The ‘return’ of culture

It’s Phase Four in the metro area and that means the arts are back.

Of course, they never went away. In our anxiety, we could always turn to them in books, recordings, films, videos – in print and on the computer. Still, there’s something about being in the physical presence of a work of art in any discipline that can’t be beat.

Among the museums reopening next week is the Katonah Museum of Art, which continues its show of Risa Butler’s vibrant quilts chronicling African-American life (through Oct. 4). The museum is using what are standard procedures for the Covid world – timed tickets purchased online only, reduced capacity to allow for social distancing, special consideration for senior citizens and the medically compromised and sanitary stations. For more, visit katonahmuseum.org.

Also reopening next week is Lockwood-Mathews Mansion Museum in Norwalk, which presents “About Women” in collaboration with Silvermine Arts Center in New Canaan Wednesday, July 29 through Jan. 3. The museum will use online ticketing only and tours will restrict the number of people allowed in accordance with social distancing.

Even though the museum is back, its “Starlit Gala” Oct. 17 will be as virtual as it is timely, featuring a special presentation by Glenn McGee, a PhD in the biomedical sciences. For more, visit lockwoodmathewsmansion.com.

A little over a month from now, get set for a biggie as The Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan returns Aug. 29 with three new shows and, of course, a host of safety protocols. The exhibits are “Making The Met, 1870–2020”, the signature exhibit of the institution’s 150th-anniversary year, which will lead visitors on a thematic journey through The Met’s history; “Héctor Zamora: Lattice Detour,” a site-specific installation for The Met’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden, which will be set against dramatic views of Central Park and Manhattan; and  “Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle,” which will present the American Modernist’s boldly jagged, little-known multi-paneled “Struggle . . . From the History of the American People” (1954-56), a series about the American Revolution and the early days of the Republic that was created during the modern civil rights movement.

In announcing The Met’s return, Daniel H. Weiss, president and CEO of The Met, may have spoken for all arts leaders when he said in a statement: “Perhaps now more than ever the museum can serve as a reminder of the power of the human spirit and the capacity of art to bring comfort, inspire resilience and help us better understand each other and the world around us.” For more, visit metmuseum.org.

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