The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) is planning to reopen later this month when the province enters step 3 of the reopening plan.
Major museums will be allowed to welcome back patrons in the third phase of the economic reopening, but Premier Doug Ford’s government has yet to spell out guidelines, capacity limits or dates.
Ontario is widely expected to enter step 3 as early as July 20 given the success of the vaccination campaign and the downward trend in public health indicators in Toronto.
“Pending final confirmation from the province and Toronto Public Health, the gallery will safely open under the public health regulations of step 3 of the Ontario Roadmap to Reopen,” the museum said in a statement. “The AGO preparations have been underway for weeks, with the health and safety of staff members and visitors remaining the top priority.”
The AGO plans to open its doors on July 21 with a major Andy Warhol retrospective that was originally scheduled to go on display in March.
Titled Andy Warhol, the exhibition will explore “the personal, social and political backdrop” that influenced the iconic American pop artist and filmmaker’s work.
The show is a collaboration between London’s Tate Modern, the AGO and Museum Ludwig in Cologne. The works on display will encompass Warhol’s early drawings, celebrity portraits (including Karen Kain and Wayne Gretzky), experimental films, his Silver Clouds floating metallic pillows and the large-scale canvas Christ $9.98 (positive) from Munich’s Museum Brandhorst.
Members will get to see the Warhol show first from July 21-25, followed by annual passholders on July 24. Single-ticket buyers can attend starting July 27.
Other exhibitions opening in July include Ben Woolfitt: Rhythms And Series, an exhibition devoted to the modernist and post-modernist Canadian painter’s drawings; Meditation And The Medieval Mind, which draws on religious art from the AGO’s European collection; Shuvinai Ashoona: Beyond The Visible, featuring 25 primarily new works by the Inuk artist; and Ragnar Kjartansson: Death Is Elsewhere, a video installation by the Icelandic artist that the AGO recently acquired.
Everyone entering the gallery over the age of two must wear a mask and physically distance. Tickets must be booked in advance for timed, 15-minute entry slots. Read the full list of visitor guidelines here.
Following the reopening week, the museum will open at regular hours, Tuesday to Sunday from 10:30 am to 5: 30 pm except Wednesdays and Fridays when gallery hours extend to 9 pm. The AGO’s free Wednesday night programming will resume on July 21 as well.