The Allentown Art Museum will offer ‘free admission to all, forever’ from August 27
The saying goes: the best things in life are free.
It’s a concept that can be applied to many different things, including art and as of August 27 — the Allentown Art Museum.
The museum announced in a letter to its members this week that it would switch to “free admission for all, forever” at the end of the month.
“Becoming an entry-free museum is the most important step to date in our multi-year journey towards breaking down barriers to entry and ensuring that our entire community has access to the museum and our programs,” said said Max Weintraub, president and CEO of the museum.
The museum will hold a two-day initiation into its new program on August 27 and 28.
Both days will include guided tours, artists in the galleries, self-guided scavenger hunts, music and food. The full program of activities is available here.
Admission to the museum is usually $12 for adults and $10 for seniors and children and is already free on Sundays and between 4 p.m. and 8 p.m. on the third Thursday of each month.
Renovations to several galleries, including the Butz Gallery, Goodman Gallery, Trexler Gallery, as well as the Decorative Arts Corridor and the Frank Lloyd Wright Library prompted the museum to offer free admission since earlier this year.
These galleries will all reopen on August 27, permanently free to visit and with some major changes, the museum promises.
“This is probably one of the biggest changes the museum has made to the collection in over a decade,” said Sean O’Leary, receptionist at the museum. “Returning customers are going to find a rear layout that is, for the most part, completely different from what they are used to seeing.”
O’Leary said the Sol Lewitt No. 793A wall drawing is a major change that visitors can expect not to find when they return. The piece will be dismantled to make room for the incoming works. It has been installed since 2018.
The New American Galleries can also surprise visitors. The reinstallation will include 148 artworks showcasing Black, Afro-Latin, Latino, Central and South American, Indigenous and female artists.
A third of the pieces will be exchanged every six months to keep the galleries vibrant, the museum said.
A 3D printing station will also be present in the Art Ways Interactive gallery.
The Century Fund donation that supports free admission for all, forever is managed by the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation Endowment Fund and supported by Lehigh Valley Health Network and City Center Allentown and JB and Kathleen Reilly
“We are forever grateful for the support that all of our donors and members give us each year,” Weintraub said. “Their generosity allows us to keep doors open, exhibit timeless works of art, and provide programs that enrich the lives of people of all ages and walks of life.”
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