Heinz History Center Will Reopen on July 1

Featured exhibition from the National Portrait Gallery will kick off reopening.
Heinz History Center Exterior

PHOTO COURTESY JOHN HEINZ HISTORY CENTER

The Sen. John Heinz History Center plans to reopen to the public on July 1 in compliance with social distancing policies set by local and state officials. The museum closed its doors on March 14, fully and partially furloughing more than half of its 130 employees, due to the pandemic.

All History Center museums, including the Western Pennsylvania Sports Museum, Fort Pitt Museum and Meadowcroft Rockshelter and Historic Village, will operate at 50 percent capacity while implementing social distancing measures, as well as making sure the museums are sanitary and thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis. “High-touch” areas, such as door handles, countertops and elevator buttons, will be cleaned frequently, and hand sanitizing stations will be available throughout the museums. 

“Smithsonian’s Portraits of Pittsburgh: Works from the National Portrait Gallery” will debut at the History Center’s reopening. As one of the largest loans of artwork shared by the National Portrait Gallery, this exhibition will feature original paintings, sketches, prints and photographs of more than 100 Americans with connections to Western Pennsylvania. 

From musicians, actors and entertainers like Lena Horne and Gene Kelly to athletes like Josh Gibson, Joe Namath and Roberto Clemente, the exhibition will feature a variety of portraits of prominent figures who are a part of western Pennsylvania’s history. It will also display artifacts from the History Center’s collection, such as Gene Kelly’s plaid, wool suit from the film “Singin’ in the Rain” and the dagger used in the failed assassination attempt on Henry Clay Frick. 

“Throughout our museum closure, our staff has worked hard to preserve our region’s history, develop new virtual content and programming, and prepare us for this moment,” Andy Masich, president and CEO of the Heinz History Center, says in a press release. “As we reopen our doors, we’re excited for visitors to experience our museums, explore our exhibitions, and draw inspiration from the past.”

For a preview of the exhibition, visit the History Center’s website. More details on advanced ticketing, timed-entry policies and other procedures will also be announced this month. 

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