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The Philadelphia Museum of Art will furlough more than 20 percent of its staff.

Justin Kamp
Jun 25, 2020 5:04PM, via The Philadelphia Inquirer

The Philadelphia Museum of Art. Image via Flic

The Philadelphia Museum of Art (PMA) will cut its staff by more than 100 employees—roughly 20 percent of its workforce—through a combination of furloughs, voluntary leave and, if necessary, layoffs, according to the Philadelphia Inquirer. The museum will also shrink its workforce by not filling the 50 positions that are currently vacant. The furloughs will go into effect on July 6th. If there are not enough voluntary departures by September, the museum will begin layoffs.

The planned cuts are part of a larger overall reduction in the museum’s operations. The PMA’s reopening, which is suspected to take place in either late July or early August, will be accompanied by reduced hours, including full closures on Mondays and Tuesdays for antiviral cleaning, along with the cancellation of public performances and programming. As a result of these measures, as well as lingering public wariness, museum officials expect a roughly 50 percent decrease in attendance.

The magnitude of the museum’s staff reductions has become the norm for institutions across the country as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The Metropolitan Museum of Art, for example, which plans to reopen August 29th, laid off 81 employees in April. That same month, the New Museum laid off nearly a third of its workforce, while the Whitney Museum of American Art laid off 76, and the Guggenheim Museum furloughed 92.

Further Reading: How Three Very Different Museums Are Dealing with the COVID-19 Crisis

Further Reading: How COVID-19 Has Thrown Museum Exhibition Planning into Disarray

Justin Kamp
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Jenna Gribbon, Luncheon on the grass, a recurring dream, 2020. Jenna Gribbon, April studio, parting glance, 2021. Jenna Gribbon, Silver Tongue, 2019