Guildhall Art Gallery will reopen its doors on 1 August to welcome back visitors to its Victorian Gallery and Heritage Gallery.
The City of London Corporation-owned art gallery will open initially on Saturdays and Sundays (10.30am to 5pm) during August, while the lower galleries and Roman Amphitheatre will reopen at a later date, due to the difficulty in implementing social distancing measures in these spaces.
A range of safety measures have been introduced, including hand sanitiser stations; one-way routes with two-metre social distancing markers, and card and contactless payments only in the shop.
The gallery, which will be deep cleaned every day before opening, has received the ‘We’re Good to Go’ industry standard and consumer mark, led by Visit Britain / Visit England.
The Enchanted Interior, the major exhibition on the historic depiction of women in enclosed and ornate spaces, which closed after just four days for the Covid-19 lockdown, will reopen and run until 30 August.
Over 50 Victorian and contemporary artists are featured in The Enchanted Interior, including Edward Burne-Jones, Evelyn De Morgan, and Francesca Woodman, which examines the metaphor of the ‘gilded cage’.
Paintings, furniture, photography, film, decorative objects and installation cast light upon the duality of the interior – as both sanctuary and threat – and add to the argument about what has really changed for women over the last 200 years.
Pre-booked tickets – available from mid-July – are compulsory for Guildhall Art Gallery and The Enchanted Interior, and visitors are encouraged to download Smartify before they arrive to help them get the most out of their visit. Free tickets for general admission to the gallery and tickets for The Enchanted Interior can be booked online at www.cityoflondon.gov.uk/guildhallartgallery
People are also advised to plan their journeys in advance – avoiding public transport, and walking or cycling instead.
Wendy Hyde, chair of the City of London Corporation’s Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee, said: “We are delighted that visitors to Guildhall Art Gallery will, once again, be able to enjoy this wonderful and thought-provoking exhibition.
“Alive with vibrant colours, while often dark in tone, The Enchanted Interior will be a must-see during August for those who enjoy beautiful art works that engage the viewer on many levels.”
Elizabeth Scott, head of Guildhall Galleries, said: “The exhibition is a feast for the senses – from the colours in Edward Burne-Jones’s Laus Veneris and Sir George Frampton’s uncannily lifelike sculpture, Lamia, to Evelyn De Morgan’s perspective on female equality and the gradually disappearing female body in Francesca Woodman’s photographs from her Rhode Island series.
“We look forward to welcoming visitors back to this important and timely exhibition next month, and hope that they will be enchanted and enlightened in equal measure.”