By Matthew Lewis, Contributing Reporter
DELRAY BEACH, FLORIDA – After several months of being closed due to COVID-19, the Cornell Art Museum in Delray Beach’s Old School Square is back with limited hours. They reopened to the public on June 12th, and will be receiving visitors on Fridays from 4-8PM, Saturdays from 11AM-5PM.
The museum will be closed the remainder of each week, and will gradually expand to offer additional business hours as CDC guidelines allows. In the last week COVID-19 cases have been spiking in Florida and Palm Beach County, the timing of ‘Phase 2’ reopening remains uncertain.
For now, visitors can peruse the exhibition ‘Art Couture: The Intersection of Art and Fashion’. The exhibition will include illustrations and clothing created by well-known fashion designers as well as contemporary art inspired by iconic designs of the fashion world.
The other exhibit available is ‘Havana, Cuba. A Photographic Essay By James Knill’, which was originally going to end last month, but has been extended through the end of the summer.
Jessica Steinweg, Director of Marketing and Communications for Old School Square, said, “We are thrilled to reopen and give the public an opportunity to view Mr. Knill’s beautiful photographs. It had been disappointing to close our doors (due to COVID-19), just as “Havana, Cuba. A Photographic Essay By James Knill” had opened.”
Adding, “Through his soulful eye, we (as spectators) can be transported to Havana while experiencing a measure of the energy, flavor, and spirit of Cuban life. James Knill’s images are pure visual poetry.”
“Along with our exhibition of “Art Couture: The Intersection of Art and Fashion,” the general public has another opportunity to experience vibrant contemporary artworks that inspire imagination,” said Steinweg.
In the interest of keeping visitors and staff safe, there will be new temporary rules and sanitary precautions in effect for the museum. For visitors, they include: no groups larger than ten people, all transactions will be handled cash-free and there are floor markings installed for social distancing control.
Also, the museum has installed plexiglass shields between staff and patrons at the front desk, and increased the cleaning schedule. Signature pads and card readers will regularly be disinfected as well as common surfaces and touch-points, entry and exit doors.
All staff are required to wear face coverings in the facilities and the museum is encouraging routine employee hand washing. They have also installed (soon to be touchless) hand sanitizing stations throughout the facilities, located at all entrances and points-of-sale.
The Cornell Art Museum is housed in the restored 1913 Delray Elementary School building on the Old School Square campus and is one of the landmarks to discover in Delray Beach. The Museum aims to show nationally and internationally recognized, contemporary artists who create innovative and provocative works of art.
The Cornell Art Museum was dedicated in 1990 and named in honor of Delray Beach residents Harriet W. and George D. Cornell. The architecture, formally known as “Masonry Vernacular,” makes the building unique in the downtown area.
The Museum completed a $1 million interior renovation in November 2017. The first floor houses two large galleries for the main exhibitions and a ‘Spotlight gallery’ for month-long exhibits of works by local artists.
Also on the first floor is the Museum Store featuring hand-crafted art, decor and jewelry by fifty area artists. The second floor, accessible by two grand staircases or an elevator, has four exhibition galleries and atrium.
The Cornell Art Museum is located to the south of the Crest Theatre building, and is connected to the Crest Theatre building’s Ocean Breeze Room and portico by a covered loggia.
For the time being, the Crest Theatre and Old School Square Pavilion will remain closed, as well as the Fieldhouse. These parts of the Old School Square campus will gradually reopen, as the County, City and CDC guidelines allow.