Get Visual: What will the exhibition spaces do?

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When The New York Times published its seasonal special section on museums on Friday, March 13, it was already too late. That day, in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, the president declared a national emergency, and venues all over the country set about shutting their doors until further notice.

Albany Center Gallery

Browsing through those pages, I fought back tears to see brilliant shows at fabulous exhibition sites advertised in gorgeous displays, some of them two pages wide. Uncountable donor dollars spent, staff hours worked, plans made, contracts drawn up, masterpieces shipped – and now, none of it even visitable.

It’s a tragedy our national media are too busy to make much comment on, though one article printed in the Daily Gazette that caught my eye was perhaps the saddest note of all: An unprecedented coming together of works by the Italian Renaissance master Raffaello, which opened on March 5 at the Scuderie del Quirinale Museum in Rome, was cloaked in darkened silence three days later, representing losses to that institution and its partners of hundreds of thousands of dollars a week in missed admissions.

University Art Museum at University of Albany

Closer to home, every museum and gallery is closed indefinitely. I could barely count all the emails I’ve received announcing these measures, from top venues like ChesterwoodThe Hyde Collectionthe Albany Institute of History & Art, and MASS MoCa, as well as college and commercial galleries like the Massry at Saint Rose, the Opalka at Sage, Carrie Haddad in Hudson and Laffer Gallery in Schuylerville. And many more. Our own Albany Center Gallery (I’m the treasurer there) is lucky in a sense, as the current show was being installed at the time of the widespread shutdown and wasn’t set to open until March 31 – but now it seems unlikely it will ever open to the public.

Read more at Get Visual

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