From the Executive Director

Reopening Message

July 21, 2020

Art and Community

We are all bearing witness to a profoundly challenging time in the history of our nation and of the world. The ravages of the coronavirus have affected hundreds of thousands of individuals and their families, forced the closing of beloved businesses and institutions, caused massive unemployment not seen for almost a century, and now the nation is convulsing with grief in the aftermath of the murder of George Floyd and the many others before him.

We share in the nation’s outrage over these deaths and believe fully that protest and freedom of expression is at the heart of our democracy. We stand with those who seek to undo institutionalized forms of oppression and those acting to lead our communities towards healing and unity by building more equitable institutions. We also believe that the Katonah Museum of Art, other museums, the art community, and artists play an important role in confronting and exploring these issues. We have a role in both provoking dialogue and in creating a community space in which to engage.

Our current exhibition, Bisa Butler: Portraits, and the programming surrounding it explores issues of racism, identity and the experience of African Americans. This is central to our national conversation at this critical moment. We invite you to take a virtual tour, to engage in our programming and, when we reopen this summer to see us in person.

We hope for positive, healing change.

Debbie Mullin
President, Board of Trustees

Michael Gitlitz
Executive Director
June 8, 2020

All passes – Art alone endures.
– Thophile Gautier
The coronavirus pandemic has presented the world with a crisis that is unprecedented. While we all wish we had more visibility into what the future holds, I believe that the physical experience of viewing art in a museum remains essential to discovery and learning. The Katonah Museum of Art will continue to be a place for people to develop and sustain relationships that enhance our individual well-being and form the bonds of our community.
Waiting for Guidance
The KMA, like arts and cultural institutions large and small around the globe, continues to face many questions. We are monitoring health and government sources at the local, state and federal levels and taking into consideration their respective guidelines for reopening. We look forward to the time when we can once again open the Museum’s doors and welcome you in person.
Safety is Paramount

We know health and safety concerns are paramount in people’s minds and questions remain about the risk of transmission, validity of antibody tests, effectiveness of potential treatments, and the timeline for vaccine development. Please know these issues are ones that we continue to assess. We are turning to appropriate regulatory agencies and health organizations for guidance and are also looking for feedback from you, our community.
Reopening Plans
The KMA plans to reopen as soon as we know it can be done safely and responsibly. At the same time, we continue to reimagine how the museum experience of the future might differ from that of the past. I anticipate that virtual content and livestreamed events, like those created for our current exhibition, Bisa Butler: Portraits, will be carried forward, furthering the KMA’s mission to promote understanding of the arts for diverse audiences.
Michael Gitlitz
Executive Director
May 20, 2020