Barbara Zdravesky of Providence, Rhode Island, looks at pieces of art in August 2017 at the Colby College Museum of Art in Waterville. Colby plans to reopen the museum’s galleries to the public next month after a nearly 15-month closure because of the coronavirus pandemic. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel file

WATERVILLE — The Colby College Museum of Art will soon reopen its galleries to the public after being closed more than a year during the coronavirus pandemic.

The reopening is slated to occur Friday, June 4, Colby Museum of Art Deputy Director Julianne Gilland said Wednesday. Admission to the museum is free.

“There are lots of reasons why,” Colby Museum of Art Deputy Director Julianne Gilland said. “We have safely made it through the academic year… And it’s summertime. The museum is a destination for local community members and people who are traveling to Maine in summer months.”

Colby’s commencement is scheduled for this weekend, and a large majority of the campus community vacates for the summer in the following days. The campus has been closed to visitors for the past 15 months throughout the pandemic, but evolving health and safety guidelines under Gov. Janet Mills’s Moving Maine Forward plan are leading to more aspects of life reopening across the board.

Visitors will be able to view the final weekend of the exhibition “Roy Lichtenstein: History in The Making, 1948-1960” before it hits the road for stops around the United States. Boston Globe writer Murray Whyte described the exhibit as a “revelation” in a review earlier this month and Forbes described it as “groundbreaking.”

An exhibit, “Inside Out: The Prints of American painter Mary Cassatt,” is scheduled from June 17 to Nov. 1 and “Bob Thompson: This House is Mine” will be shown from July 20 to Jan. 9, 2022.

In order to maintain health and safety protocols, the museum has instituted a variety of guidelines. Gallery occupancy limits will be posted throughout, 6 feet of physical distancing between households is mandatory and face coverings are required.

Visitors tour the Museum of Art at Colby College on July 10, 2019. Colby plans to reopen the museum’s galleries to the public next month after a nearly 15-month closure because of the coronavirus pandemic. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel file

Beginning May 24, Maine indoor spaces can increase to 75% capacity, while outdoor venues can operate at 100% capacity. Physical distancing requirements for outdoor gatherings are soon to be eliminated, but distancing requirements remain indoors where people congregate without face coverings.

“We will be following both the campus guidelines and protocols which are constantly evolving in response to Maine CDC guidelines and other best practices,” Gilland said. “Our policies are in line with those of the college and our museum peers.”

Located on the college’s Mayflower Hill campus, the Colby Museum of Art was founded in 1959. The museum is a nonprofit institution and founding member of the Maine Art Museum Trail and Waterville Creates.

The nearly 38,000-square-foot museum includes roughly 10,000 works. The museum specializes in American and contemporary art, but also has collections of Chinese antiquities, European paintings and works on paper.

Maine is now open to travel from all states with no COVID-19 related policies. The museum attracts visitors from across the nation, so its normal population can come back.

Museum officials look forward to the reopening.

“Just having people back in the galleries, connecting with art,” Gilland said. “We’ve been able to do that with our campus community throughout the academic year, but we’ve really missed having a broader swath of our friends and community members in our galleries.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.