The Government has included museums and galleries among the institutions that need to close to the public during our second national lockdown from Thursday 5th November to Thursday 3rd December. So, with great sadness, we will close our doors to the public at 5.00pm on Wednesday 4th November.
It has been our enormous pleasure to welcome 21,565 visitors back into the Museum since we reopened to the public on 4th August. We know from your feedback how much people have enjoyed being able to see our collection again, and the temporary display in the Octagon, Sensual/Virtual: Two Coloured Sculptures. Over half term we welcomed many families who enjoyed the Kids in Museums Where's Wally Spooky Museum Hunt throughout our galleries. We take pride in having provided our visitors with a calm place to think and wander, in conditions that make our spaces as safe as possible: with our Covid-secure measures in place and our new booking system which helps us to monitor numbers entering the Museum. We will now be in a position to reopen quickly as soon as the Government tells us it is safe to do so.
In the meantime I encourage you to explore the Museum virtually. We are currently developing a new Beta website, and one feature you can already enjoy is to explore our collections online. We would very much welcome your feedback on this resource, and indeed on our beta website in general.
In My Mind’s Eye is a new podcast series, which grew out of our national lockdown earlier in 2020. We invited five tremendous artists and writers, who know the Fitz well, to think about what happens when we can no longer access artworks directly: the series begins with a wonderful episode featuring writer Ali Smith.
For those interested in the 18th Century we have an online conference, Hayley 2020, about writer, scholar and art lover William Hayley. Find out more about this influential figure and his work by booking your tickets here.
Please look after yourselves and each other. These are truly testing times and I very much hope that what we can offer digitally will offer some distraction or consolation. We look forward to seeing you back in the Museum when we can.