Catalina ConnectionNewsletter

Catalina Island Museum reopening turns into reclosing

AVALON— Catalina Island Museum had begun welcoming back members and visitors when another round of state-issued guidelines forced them to close yet again. The museum reopened on June 12 with reduced capacity and augmented health and safety procedures including enhanced sanitizing and cleaning protocols and encouraged physical distancing and mask requirements throughout its Museum Store, galleries and open-air outdoor plazas.

“We recognize this is a dynamic situation where circumstances may change at any moment and we are committed to providing the same excellent visitor experience under the safest possible conditions,” Catalina Island Museum Executive Director Julie Perlin Lee said in a released statement about the reopening.

Circumstances did change on July 2. The museum announced another temporary closure after Gov. Gavin Newsom ordered indoor venues such as museums, restaurant dining rooms, bars and movie theaters in 19 counties, including Los Angeles, to close for three weeks. If nothing changes, the museum could reopen on July 23.

Several exhibits that were scheduled for March, April and May during the first ordered closure are now on display, including Soot & Water: Gyotaku Records of Catalina and Elizabeth Turk: Tipping Point. Soot & Water will be on display through November 1.

The museum also debuted a new exhibit on June 20 – Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray. The exhibition displays the personal life of Mexico’s most prolific female artist, Frida Kahlo, captured through the lens of longtime friend, lover and confidant Nickolas Muray. The work includes approximately 50 photographic portraits and prints from 1937-1946, including six images that have never before been exhibited in the United States, and a number of intimate letters of correspondence between Kahlo and Muray.

“With art comes the power to inspire, heal and explore the world from different viewpoints and Catalina Island Museum is honored to share in this experience with Frida Kahlo: Through the Lens of Nickolas Muray,” Lee said in a released statement. “Today more than ever, the importance of resonating with various generations, cultures and perspectives has become a pivotal moment in history and, as an art institution, we are proud to invite the public along for this eye-opening journey.”

The exhibit will be on display through September 27. A special members event and reception is planned for a later date. The museum also plans to screen Frida (2002) in its outdoor amphitheater before the exhibition closes in September.

Visit for the most up to date information about the museum’s operation and hours. Visitors are strongly encouraged to pre-purchase admission.

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