What’s happening behind the scenes at museums during the lockdown? Not business as usual. Most museums have a skeleton crew on hand to monitor collections and security staff are making sure everything is secure. Here, Sarah Cascone interviews several conservators, collections managers, horticulturists, and security personnel to see how they’re keeping busy right now.
“Uptown at the Met Cloisters, managing horticulturist Marc Montefusco is now attempting to do the work of three full-time staff, plus four dedicated volunteers. And he’s learning as he goes along: his first day on the job was March 2, just ten days before the museum closed indefinitely. ‘I felt as a newcomer, it was the least I could I do,’ Montefusco says of volunteering to work during the lockdown. ‘This is probably the busiest time of year for a garden. If we didn’t continue working, when it came time to reopen, the tasks would be overwhelming, and our visitors might be disappointed.'”
It's been roughly two months since museums across the US, both big and small, were forced to shutter abruptly. Most of them had to do so with only a few days notice, meaning there was little time to formulate long-term plans-and no expectation that the shutdown would stretch this long.