Photo by Benjamin Benschneider: The Seattle Art Museum will reopen its downtown museum in limited capacity this month.
Photo by Benjamin Benschneider: The Seattle Art Museum will reopen its downtown museum in limited capacity this month.

The Seattle Art Museum reopens its downtown museum to the general public on Sept.11. The museum, 1300 First Ave., will initially be at a limited capacity and open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Fridays through Sundays. SAM Shop and SAM Gallery will also reopen. TASTE Café at SAM, the Seattle Asian Art Museum and the PACCAR Pavilion at the Olympic Sculpture Park remain closed until further notice. Timed tickets will be sold online only beginning this Friday for the Sept. 11 general public reopening. 

Among the new safety protocols:

• Tickets are available online only. Timed tickets have been instituted to limit capacity and ensure physical distancing.
• Visitors will have their temperatures checked upon entering the building. People should stay home if they are feeling sick or experiencing symptoms.
• Masks are required for all staff and visitors over the age of 2, and physical distancing is aided by floor labels throughout the museum.
• A few galleries remain closed, and others limit the number of visitors within the space at a time.
• One-way traffic flows in smaller galleries assist with physical distancing.
• SAM’s Environmental Services team has adopted a strict cleaning regimen with a focus on frequently cleaning high-touch and high-traffic areas.
• For all the details on planning a visit, go to

Later this fall, SAM is planning to present two exhibitions celebrating Seattle art world icons. City of Tomorrow: Jinny Wright and the Art That Shaped a New Seattle, Oct. 15, 2020-Jan. 18, 2021, celebrates the legacy of collector and philanthropist Virginia “Jinny” Wright (1929–2020). Jinny and her husband, Bagley, transformed the cultural landscape of Seattle. Barbara Earl Thomas: The Geography of Innocence, Nov. 14, 2020–June 13, 2021, is the first major solo exhibition at SAM for the renowned Seattle artist and features new works alongside an immersive installation of light and shadow. Her work draws from history, literature, folklore and biblical stories to address what she calls “the untended wounds of history.”

Tickets to these special exhibitions will include admission to the collection galleries. Special exhibition ticket prices will be reduced, ranging in price from free for members and children 14 and under to $19.99 for adults. Tickets to the collection galleries are pay-what-you-want, with a suggested admission of $19.99 for adults. Tickets for the fall exhibitions will go on sale at a later date.