With Irene storming into New York this weekend, the entire city is bracing itself for winds reaching 75 MPH and rainfall of 7-10 inches. The MTA has already decided to close the subway systems as of 12 noon on Saturday, and Mayor Bloomberg has ordered those in low-lying areas (especially “ZONE A”) to evacuate and move to higher ground. Bridges may also be closed if winds reach over 60 MPH. Airports are already suspending flights and preparing for closures. Colleges have canceled classes, churches have canceled services, and hospitals are rescheduling surgeries and moving patients to safer ground. The hurricane is affecting all aspects of the city, with closings and delays across the board. Cultural sites have certainly been affected as well with museums notifying fans of their impending closures.
As of Friday at 9:15PM, the following museums and cultural centers will be shut down for the entire day on both Saturday and Sunday:
American Museum of Natural History
El Museo del Barrio
The Frick Collection
Guggenheim Museum and BMW Guggenheim Lab
Intrepid Museum of Sea, Air and Space
International Center of Photography
Metropolitan Museum of Art
Mount Vernon Hotel Museum
Museum of Art and Design
Museum of Biblical Art
Museum of the City of New York
Museum of Modern Art
National Museum of the American Indian
New York Public Library
Rubin Museum of Art
Smithsonian’s Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum
Studio Museum in Harlem
Whitney Museum of American Art
Discovery Times Square Exposition Center (hosting Harry Potter and Pompeii exhibits) will be OPEN Saturday from 9AM to 1PM, and CLOSED all day Sunday.
The Museum of Sex will be OPEN until 3pm on Saturday and will be CLOSED all day Sunday.
Liberty and Ellis Islands will be closed Saturday, Sunday, AND Monday.
This is only a partial list of closings; indeed, most activities throughout all five boroughs have been canceled and most museums have already made formal announcements about closings. Certainly more sites will be shut down as the weekend continues and more news of the hurricane’s path is discovered. Precautions are being made to protect the art inside these buildings while the storm rages outside. Check back here or with your local news station for more updates. Most museums and galleries have updates also listed on their websites or on facebook and twitter newsfeeds.
Be safe out there, and make sure to check out the great exhibitions on view at these museums after Irene decides to leave! (Or, as @metmuseum suggests, while you’re cooped up inside, visit these museums online and “distract yourself” with images and info of Picassos, Monets, Egyptian temples, Sargents, Greek statues, and more amazing works that are on the web!)