The museum was closed for six months due to the pandemic.
The US National Gallery of Art reopened on Friday after a long standstill caused by the pandemic. Exactly at 11: 00 local time, the doors of the museum, which had remained closed to visitors since November 20 last year, opened again for them. The gallery’s first visitors in six months were welcomed by its director, Keywin Feldman.
Speaking with a correspondent, Feldman answered in the negative to the question of whether the gallery suffered any losses in the conditions of all sorts of difficulties, which can be considered irreplaceable. “No. I am very happy to say that nothing like this has happened to us,” the director assured.
“The National Gallery is very lucky [in this regard] because, as a federal institution, it has guaranteed funding [from the US state budget],” Feldman explained. “Of course, it was very difficult for other museums in America and other countries to lose such [visitor-related] revenues. It wasn’t so difficult for us,” the specialist said. According to her, the gallery did not even make a forced reduction in personnel, except for the transfer of the functions of ensuring the operation of several gallery stores to a contractor.
Meanwhile, many American museums, which had previously warned of the threat of complete closure due to the pandemic, are really in a very difficult situation, Feldman confirmed. “It seems to me that this is a very real danger,” she said about the prospects of closing some such institutions. “This is a very big problem in American museums, as they do not have enough working capital. We just don’t have the donor base and endowments [trust funds] to really fund the operations and work of the museums. I hope that in the next few years we will see an increase in the efforts of museums, as well as donor support, aimed at increasing endowments so that we can survive difficult times like the current one or the economic crisis of 2008,” said the head of the gallery.