When are California museums reopening? Some already have. Here’s the list

The Petersen Automotive Museum on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles.
Too soon? The Petersen Automotive Museum on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles reopened Friday.
(Christina House/Los Angeles Times)
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California museums have joined the reopening of the state: Despite rising coronavirus case counts in the region, the Petersen Automotive Museum in L.A. and the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana began welcoming visitors again Friday, and more museums have set reopening dates for July.

The Times arts team will be tracking the scene in the weeks ahead, updating the following list of who’s reopening and when. It’s important to note that while some institutions are eager to serve their audiences once again and give employees a chance to return to work, others say it’s simply too early and not safe.

The Underground Museum, which this week was named a recipient of a Getty Foundation COVID-19 relief grant, issued a statement criticizing the city for providing “minimal guidelines and zero financial support, leaving small non-profits like ours to best guess how to keep our staff and our visitors safe.”


The museum, in L.A.’s Arlington Heights neighborhood, sounded a voice of caution about a pandemic that has hit Black and Latino populations disproportionately hard: “We are prioritizing the care of our community over calls to restart our economy. ... Please stay safe, and if you can, stay home.”


Petersen Automotive Museum, L.A.: Friday, June 19

Bowers Museum, Santa Ana: Friday, June 19

Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens, San Marino: Gardens reopened for members on Wednesday, June 17 and will reopen to the public July 1; incremental reopening of indoor galleries in September

Aquarium of the Pacific, Long Beach: Reopened June 14

Laguna Art Museum, Laguna Beach: Phased reopening started June 12


Reopening timeline set

LA Plaza de Cultura y Artes: July 6

Institute of Contemporary Art, Los Angeles: Phased reopening starts with by-appointment visits July 7

San Diego Museum of Art: July 6-7 for members, July 9 for the public

Museum of Latin American Art, Long Beach: July 8 for members, July 15 for the public

Monterey Bay Aquarium: Monday, July 13

Orange County Museum of Art, Santa Ana: July 16

Wende Museum, Culver City: Phased reopening will start with outdoor programming in July

California Science Center, L.A.: Summer, date TBD

Getty Museum (Getty Center in Brentwood and Getty Villa in Malibu): Phased reopening, summer, dates TBD.

Craft Contemporary, L.A.: Midsummer

The Broad, downtown L.A.: Phased reopening in midsummer

USC Pacific Asia Museum, Pasadena: Aug. 17

USC Fisher Museum of Art, L.A.: Aug. 17

Asian Art Museum, San Francisco: Mid-August

Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, L.A.: Late summer

La Brea Tar Pits Museum, L.A.: Late summer

Norton Simon Museum, Pasadena: Late summer or early fall

Hammer Museum, Westwood: September

Fowler Museum at UCLA: Mid-October

Palm Springs Art Museum: Likely not until October or November

A+D Museum’s coronavirus-related closure provided time for leaders to rethink the future and shift to online programming and events in various cities.

June 17, 2020


To be announced (no stated timeline):

Autry Museum of the American West, L.A.

Berkeley Art Museum and Pacific Film Archive

California African American Museum, L.A.

Chinese American Museum, L.A.

Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco (De Young and Legion of Honor)

Griffith Observatory, L.A.

Japanese American National Museum, L.A.

Long Beach Art Museum

Los Angeles County Museum of Art, L.A.

Museum of Tolerance, L.A.

Richard Nixon Presidential Library and Museum, Yorba Linda

Ronald Reagan President Foundation and Institute, Simi Valley

San Francisco Museum of Modern Art

Skirball Cultural Center, L.A.

Tech Interactive, San Jose

Originally scheduled to open in December, the Academy Museum of Motion Pictures has pushed back its public opening due to the “unprecedented and devastating pandemic.”

June 15, 2020