Why Museums Should Reopen Now: A Strongly Worded Heterodox View

Piranesi explored prisons of the mind, not real lockdowns. Pictured: Prisoners on a Projecting Platform, from Carceri d’invenzione (Imaginary Prisons), c. 1749-1750, by Giovanni Battista Piranesi. Etching, engraving, sulphur tint or open bite, burnishing; first state of four. (Metropolitan Museum/Open Access)
It’s time for key museum staff to push back against the apocalypse propaganda and get to work serving the public safely, like all the other people who can’t work via Zoom.

NRPLUS MEMBER ARTICLE I ’m irritated. I’m an art critic with an unorthodox point of view, so that’s not surprising. And my husband, who knows me best, would agree that my capacity to irritate ranks with the sun’s to warm. One much-adored friend, who’s known me for 30 years, said I was smug in my COVID-19 coverage. Another said I was too political. Why am I writing so much about it, anyway?

Well, it’s the biggest story of the year, and if there’s an angle, I’ll write about it. It’s certainly the biggest art story of the year. A toxic trio of government, press, and public-health

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