Grand Rapids Art Museum welcomes guests once again


Courtesy/ Meghan Landgren

Mary Dupuis, Staff Reporter

After being closed for months for the health and safety of staff and visitors, the Grand Rapids Art Museum (GRAM) has reopened to the public.

The museum held a soft opening for GRAM members July 25, 28 and 30, and a public reopening Aug. 1. 

Director and CEO Dana Friis-Hansen was thrilled to welcome guests back to the museum. But, she is aware that now, more than ever, safety is of the utmost importance.

“The well-being of our staff, volunteers, and guests remains our top priority, and we’re excited to reopen our doors with enhanced precautions and limited hours so our visitors can safely enjoy the transformational power of art,” Friis-Hansen said. 

Some of the new precautions GRAM is taking include changes to ticket sales, new safety protocols and enhanced cleaning of the museum. 

As of now, all guests are encouraged to reserve their admission tickets online

prior to their visit. According to a news release on GRAM’s website, when tickets are purchased, online members receive free admission and all non-members receive a 10-percent discount. 

While purchasing their tickets online, guests can select their 30-minute entrance window for their visit. GRAM asks that once guests arrive, they limit their stay to two hours. 

Before guests are able to enter the museum, their temperature is taken. Face masks are also required for everyone over the age of two inside the museum. Masks are provided if a guest does not have one. 

Capacity is limited by the online ticketing system, however, guests are still asked to social distance from one another. In order to limit the crossing paths of guests as well as the number of physical touchpoints throughout the museum, there is a one-way traffic flow for visitors to follow.

As for cleaning, GRAM has hand sanitizing stations accessible for visitors at all entrances as well as in common gallery spaces. The museum has also increased their normal cleaning to include routine cleanings of high traffic areas and touchpoints, and daily deep cleans when closed to the public. 

Bag check has been suspended and GRAM asks that guests do not bring large bags to the museum. Some areas and furniture will also be unavailable. 

The museum does not plan to resume normal programming and interactive activities now that it has reopened. However, it may begin to offer special programs that can be done at a safe distance from one another. 

Before GRAM closed, their exhibitions “A New State of Matter: Contemporary Glass” and “Useful Beauty: Design Highlights from the Permanent Collection” were on display. According to a press release from GRAM, these exhibitions have been extended to Oct. 4 and Nov. 1, respectively, in order to allow more visitors to have a chance to see them.

The museum is currently operating under temporary hours and is open Tuesday from 12 -6 p.m., Thursday from 12-9 p.m. and Saturday to members from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. then to the public from 12-6 p.m.

There is free admission to the museum on Meijer Free Tuesdays from 12-6 p.m. and Thursday nights from 5-9 p.m. made possible by the Meijer Foundation. For those who cannot visit the museum, artist interviews, activities and free virtual tours of the museum that were offered during quarantine are still available on GRAM’s website.