Yesterday numerous outlets reported that the Smithsonian was restricting sequester-related collection gallery closures to only art museums, namely the Hirshhorn and the National Museum of African Art. Today I learned one other detail from Smithsonian spokesperson Linda St. Thomas: After ongoing exhibitions close in the full range of Smithsonian museums, those special exhibition galleries will remain empty through September 30.
For example: The Civil War and American Art show just completed its run at the Smithsonian American Art Museum. The special exhibitions galleries in which that show was installed will remain empty through Sept. 30. A similar wave of closures will spread throughout all Smithsonian museums.
I have heard of only one exception so far: Expect the Hirshhorn’s Jennie C. Jones “Directions” exhibition to open as planned on May 16.