Most Texas Museums Will Remain Closed For Now, Despite Governor’s Recommendation

by Christopher Blay May 1, 2020
greg-abbott-reopening-texas-April-27-Eric Gay-Associated Press

Governor Greg Abbott reopening Texas, April 27, 2020. Photo Credit: Eric Gay-Associated Press, via Texas Monthly.

Despite Governor Greg Abbott’s Executive Order which permits museums and libraries to open (among most other businesses) beginning today, May 1, none of the Texas museums that have thus far contacted Glasstire with plans for re-opening will open their doors today. Most of the major Texas museums have already released statements to that effect.

On another note: At least one commercial gallery that just yesterday announced its plans to open on May 5 has informed us that it has reconsidered, and will remain closed. The gallery, Craighead Green in Dallas, sent us this statement:

“Due to the increase in covid 19 cases in the Dallas area we have further decided to postpone opening the gallery until further notice. As we stated earlier we are implementing certain measures to protect our employees and the general public but feel at this time it is better to err on the side of caution.”

Back to museums: May 1 has arrived, and the following Texas institutions have decided to remain closed for now (below are the museums and their statements on re-opening):


Artpace, San Antonio. Image by Francisco Cortes, courtesy Artpace.

Artpace, San Antonio:

“On Monday, April 27, Governor Greg Abbott announced that the Texas Stay-at-Home order expires today, Friday, May 1, allowing select businesses to open to the public, including museums. After careful consideration, Artpace has decided to continue doing our part to flatten the curve and remain closed to the public. We are excited to continue offering virtual, global art experiences for you to enjoy in the comfort and safety of your home. We will continue to monitor the situation closely and are working on a plan to safely reopen our doors. Our staff, artists, and community are our top priority, and we can’t wait to welcome you back to Artpace.”

SAMA-San-Antonio-Museum-of-Art-buildingSan Antonio Museum of Art:

“While the governor of Texas announced that institutions like ours might begin re-opening, SAMA will not re-open yet. We look forward to welcoming you back when sufficient safety measures can be implemented to protect the well-being of our visitors and staff. We are busy preparing the protocols and supplies needed to maintain public health and safety by examining the experience from every angle. Our comprehensive plan and updated policies will be available online soon. We love our visitors and staff and want to keep them safe. While the Museum is closed, check out our digital resources such as children’s story times every Thursday, art activities, online events, and more.”


Blaffer Art Museum

Blaffer Art Museum, Houston:

“While statewide stay-at-home orders expire on Friday, May 1 for restaurants, retail stores, malls, movie theaters, libraries, and non-interactive museums, Blaffer Art Museum will remain closed until further announcement. In alignment with the University of Houston, the health and safety of our visitors, staff, and the broader public continues to be our main priority. Please know that we are actively planning for a reopening that will occur as soon as it is safe to do so, taking into full account the health and safety of our patrons while preserving the Blaffer Art Museum experience that you have come to expect. We will continue to provide updates as more information becomes available.”

Czech-Museum-HoustonThe Czech Center Museum, Houston:

“Governor Greg Abbott announced that the Texas Stay-at-home order will expire Friday, may 1. This news applies to restaurants, retail stores, malls, movie theaters, libraries, and non-interactive museums across the state. The Czech Center Museum remains closed. Please know that the museum is carefully planning for its reopening later this summer. The safety of the Museum’s staff, volunteers, and visitors continue to be our top priority.”

Holocaust-museum-houstonThe Holocaust Museum, Houston:

“As many of you are aware, Governor Greg Abbott recently set new parameters for Museums and Libraries associated with reopening their doors.  After thoughtful assessment, including the plans of other Houston Museum District Museums, we have decided to reopen Holocaust Museum Houston to the public on Tuesday, May 26, 2020.  Based on current government guidance, our visitor count will be limited to 50% of building capacity at that time.”

The Houston Center for Contemporary Craft (HCCC):

“Earlier this week, Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced the state’s stay-at-home order would expire today, May 1st, and that select businesses and public institutions, including some museums, would be allowed to open.  However, for the safety of our staff, artists, and visitors, Houston Center for Contemporary Craft will remain closed to the public until further notice. The careful planning for the reopening of the Center is underway, with the expectation of limited operations resuming this summer, prior to the resumption of full-scale activities when appropriate. The safety of our staff, artists, and visitors remains our highest priority, and when we do reopen, we will implement safeguards and protocols to support the necessary social distancing and community hygiene. As valued members of our community, you will hear from us first, once our reopening date has been determined.”

The-Old-Jail-Art-CenterThe Old Jail Art Center, Albany:

“The Old Jail Art Center understands the vital role museums will play in the social and economic recovery of communities across Texas and the world due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The safety and health of our visitors, staff, and community are a top priority at this time; therefore, the OJAC will not reopen May 1. We are carefully planning for the appropriate time to do so and will let you know as soon as that date is determined. We do look forward to welcoming you back.”

For the most up-to-date information about museums reopening, please check our regularly updated newsfeed.

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