Come on in! Eric Carle Museum reopens for limited visits

  • The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, closed since mid March, reopens to the public Aug. 1 for limited visits.  Photo by Paul Shoul/Courtesy Eric Carle Museum

  • The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art, closed since mid-March, reopens to the public Aug. 1 for limited visits.  Gazette file photo

Staff Writer
Thursday, July 30, 2020

The Eric Carle Museum of Picture Book Art will reopen this Saturday, Aug. 1 for the general public with limited hours, and with safety protocols in place to safeguard against the COVID-19 pandemic.

The museum, closed since mid March, will be open five days a week for between four and six hours per day: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturday, and noon to 4 p.m. on Sunday.

Visitors are strongly encouraged to buy tickets in advance, as museum staff say they intend to limit the number of people in the building so that social distancing can be maintained per state regulations.

You can also call the museum at (413) 559-6301 to reserve tickets by phone, and a limited number of walk-up tickets are available each day.

All visitors (save children under 2) will be required to wear face masks and maintain social distancing. Museum staff will also conduct regular cleanings of certain locations that may temporarily delay visitors from entering an area. 

But amid all that, says Executive Director Alexandra Kennedy, the museum is happy to welcome people back.

“We know how important reading and making art have been for so many people throughout the lockdown, and we are eager to make their visit to the museum a calm and inspiring experience,” Kennedy said in a statement.

Two exhibits — “Under the Sea with Eric Carle” and “Eric Carle’s Angels: An Homage to Paul Klee” are currently on view, and a third, “Let's Talk! Animals from the Collection” opens Aug. 8. The museum will also continue hosting online content such as the virtual exhibit “Art in Place.” 

The museum’s bookshop will be open, but the café will remain closed (though visitors are welcome to eat outside in Bobbie’s Meadow). The Art Studio will be open to one family or group at a time; visitors can sign up for a specific time slot when they arrive at the museum. Art activity kits “to go” are also available for pick-up.

For more information about the Eric Carle Museum, including reopening protocols, you can visit the museum website at carlemuseum.org.

Steve Pfarrer can be reached at spfarrer@gazettenet.com.