Coronavirus Outbreak Forces Closure of U.S. Museums & Postponement of Art Fairs (UPDATE)

After the World Health Organization declared the virus a global pandemic.

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UPDATE: Frieze recently made an official announcement to exhibitors that it will cancel its ninth edition in New York. The cancellation is due to escalating concerns surrounding the coronavirus outbreak and with the state instituting bans on gatherings of over 50 people. Not to mention, directors will also issue refunds to all exhibitors that were going to participate in the installment. The fair was initially slated to launch on May 6 st Randall’s island.

“In light of global health concerns and following advice and restrictions from local, national, international health authorities, it is with great regret that we have to cancel Frieze New York 2020,” as per a statement by the Frieze Fairs directors.

Visit Frieze’s website for more details.

UPDATE (March 12, 2020): Institutions across Europe have adopted precautionary measures to limit the spread of coronavirus such as The Louvre with several countries such as Italy closing all of its museums. Cultural establishments in the U.S. are next to take preventative action against the virus such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City — one of the largest institutions worldwide — announcing recently that it will shutter all three of its sites in the state beginning March 13, as per ARTnews.

“The Met’s priority is to protect and support our staff, volunteers, and visitors, and we have been taking several proactive precautionary measures, including discouraging travel to affected areas, implementing rigorous cleaning routines, and staying in close communication with New York City health officials and the Centers for Disease Control,” said Daniel H. Weiss, The Met’s president, in a public statement.

According to the New York Times, two staffers at the Met have seemingly contracted coronavirus symptoms with one employee waiting for test results. There are over 200 cases of the virus in New York alone. Apart from the Met, landmarks such as The White House and the U.S. Capitol have canceled tours until April 1, as per a report by USA Today.

The Brooklyn Museum and The Noguchi Museum in New York City have also announced closures beginning March 13 with the latter institution set to reopen on March 31. The Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden in Washington D.C. is also closing its doors from the public starting on March 14. On the west coast, the Asian Art Museum, Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, and San Francisco Museum of Modern Art have also announced temporary closures effective March 14.

Original article (March 12, 10: 51 a.m. EST): The World Health Organization recently declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic with over 120,000 infected. As the virus continues to spread, two forthcoming art fairs have decided to change their plans for launch.

Printed Matter‘s LA Art Book Fair, which was slated to run through April 3-5 at the Geffen Contemporary space of LA’s Museum of Contemporary art, is now canceled. Paris Photo’s inaugural New York edition — the largest art fair celebrating photography worldwide — made the decision to postpone the installment with new dates to be announced soon.

“Our annual L.A. Art Book Fair is both a celebration and a critical platform for artists’ books and publishing activity from across the globe. We are grateful for the understanding of our participating artists and publishers, and want to acknowledge the time and effort they have dedicated to developing creative publishing projects for the fair. We encourage everyone to continue to support their work,” said LA Art Book Fair organizers in a statement.

Michel Filzi, the president of Reed Expositions in France — the organization behind the planning of Paris Photo New York — announced the fair’s postponement this past Wednesday. “The health and well-being of exhibitors, visitors, sponsors, media representatives, cultural institutions, and our employees from around the globe is and will always be our first priority,” he expressed.

Stay tuned for further developments surrounding any closures of art fairs and events stateside.

Elsewhere in art, KAWS just launched EXPANDED HOLIDAY augmented reality sculptures featuring his signature Companion.

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