CINCINNATI — The future looked bright for the Taft Museum of Art in early February.
The National Endowment for the Humanities had just awarded a $750,000 grant to the Taft to renovate the former home of Charles Taft, the half-brother of President William Howard Taft, for its bicentennial year. Museum staff also was planning an extensive exhibition of the history of the house, which is the heart of the museum, for the spring.
"It is definitely a unique bicentennial year," said Sarah Ditlinger, senior manager of marketing for the Taft Museum of Art.
Instead, museum staff has spent most of the past four months planning the museum's reopening since the coronavirus forced its closing in March.
"The Taft Museum of Art will open to the public on July 11th and 12th and to members on July 10th," Ditlinger said. "We do have the framed Plexiglas here. Of course, we will also be requiring individuals to wear masks when they come in. We will also have limited capacity, encourage everyone to only come in groups with their own household and hand cleaning."
Guests are asked to wear face masks at all times. And while the museum can typically accommodate up to 700 visitors at a time, under new safety guidelines it will now allow only 100 visitors per hour, she added.
"We want to make sure you feel extra comfortable coming during that time," Ditlinger said.
And while the pandemic has delayed the unveiling of the larger exhibit, the staff has managed to put together a smaller exhibition of the house's history.
"Two hundred years of history and artifacts that have been uncovered will be available in our Sitton gallery," Ditlinger said.
For more information about the museum's reopening, visit taftmusuem.org.