Museums News USA

Smithsonian, MoMA and the Met shut as storm approaches

As Sandy gathers strength, emergency preparation plans put into action

Early flooding in Red Hook Brooklyn, Monday morning, caused by Sandy

As Hurricane Sandy barrels up the East Coast of the US, museum staff are battening down the hatches and putting their emergency preparation plans into action. The Smithsonian Institution has closed all of its museums today (29 October) in Washington, DC, and New York, and all events due to be held today and on Tuesday have been cancelled.

New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) are closed today due to the expected impact of the Category 1 storm, which is reported to be getting stronger. The Met cancelled this morning's press preview for the exhibition "Extravagant Inventions: the Princely Furniture of the Roentgens". MoMA, which is closed to the public on Tuesdays, says in a notice on its website that it plans to reopen on Wednesday "pending the status of public transportation and impact of the storm". The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum is also closed today because of the storm. The New Museum and the Brooklyn Museum do not normally open on Mondays and Tuesdays. The offices of the latter are closed today.

The Smithsonian’s advice to staff who are preparing for a hurricane includes boarding up windows or protecting them with storm shutters or tape, and leaving some slightly open to equalise the pressure. Staff should stay in the building if it is sturdy and on high ground. "Don't be fooled by the calmness of the 'eye'," they are warned. "Remember, the winds on the other side of the 'eye' will come from the opposite direction."

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