COVID-19 arts cancellations

COVID-19: Art & history museums, libraries shut down

Portland, Salem, and Eugene museums and Multnomah County's library system join a cascade of closures as the coronavirus crisis escalates

Response in Oregon to the international coronavirus crisis escalated significantly Friday when both the Portland Art Museum and the Oregon Historical Society, anchors with Portland’5 Centers for the Performing Arts of downtown’s cultural district, announced they would shut their doors temporarily. Perhaps more drastically, Multnomah County Library shut down all of its locations until further notice.

UPDATE: The two biggest museums in the Willamette Valley south of Portland also have announced they’re closing. In Eugene, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon will be shut down at least through April 10. And in Salem, Willamette University’s Hallie Ford Museum of Art will remain open Saturday and Sunday and then shut down beginning Monday, March 16, at least through April 12. While both museums are connected to universities, they are also the de facto art museums for their regions, and their closures affect large populations.

UPDATE 2: Late Saturday afternoon Maryhill Museum of Art, on the Washington side of the Columbia River Gorge, announced it will remain closed until further notice. On Friday, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced a ban throughout the state for the next six weeks of gatherings of more than 250 people.

Robert Colescott, “Knowledge of the Past is the Key to the Future: Upside Down Jesus aThe final four days of the fnd the Politics of Survival,” 1987, acrylic on canvas, Museum purchase: Robert Hale Ellis Jr. Fund for the Blanche Eloise Day Ellis and Robert Hale Ellis Memorial Collection, © 1987 Robert Colescott. In the Portland Art Museum’s shows “Art and Race Matters: The Career of Robert Colescott,” through May 17. The museum will be closed at least until April 1.

The Portland Art Museum and its Northwest Film Center will be closed until April 1, the museum announced late Friday afternoon. The final four days of the film center’s Portland International Film Festival already had been canceled. The history center announced earlier in the day that it will close its doors Saturday through March 29. Extensions of the shutdowns are, of course, possible depending on the spread or containment of the COVID-19 virus. The performing arts centers already had announced that all events in Keller Auditorium, Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, and the Newmark Theatre would be shut down for the next four weeks.

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