Tentative July Reopening Plans For Gilcrease Museum Up In The Air As Virus Cases Spike

Jul 7, 2020

The Gilcrease Museum's tentative plans to reopen to the public by the end of July are up in the air given the worsening COVID-19 outbreak at the state and local levels.

"When we got approval for this, and moving forward, it wasn't evident that we were going to continue to see these spikes," said Susan Neal, the museum's executive director, on a virtual meeting of its board of trustees on Tuesday.

"Our community situation continues to evolve, and I wonder what it will be like come July 29th, when we would be scheduled to open to the public," Neal said.

Neal said she has sought and is continuing to seek guidance from the heads of other museums; health officials like Dr. Bruce Dart, the head of the Tulsa Health Department; and federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. Neal added that the situation will continue to be reassessed, even after the museum does reopen.

"If we're scheduled to open in two weeks, I would hate for the word to come down: 'well, that's a mistake,'" Neal said. "So I'm trying to just be ready to open and hope for the very best situation."

"Just because we magically pull the lever and open the door on July 29th, doesn't mean that people will be coming back," she said. 

Neal said that if and when the museum reopens, both staff and guests will be required to wear face coverings.

The Gilcrease Museum is set to be razed and replaced by a new facility; the exact timeline for that work is unclear.