ArtCoronavirusNewsThe NorthSider

History, art museums close as COVID strikes public, staffs

ST. LOUIS — The Missouri Historical Society — which operates the Missouri History Museum, Soldiers Memorial Military Museum, and the MHS Library & Research Center — has closed all three locations because of the surge of COVID cases here. The organization’s move is being matched by the St. Louis Art Museum.

Both groups currently plan to reopen to the public on Feb. 1. All scheduled on-site programming is canceled.

“While we certainly had hoped the days of a temporary public closure were behind us, the recent surge in cases has created staffing issues which compromise our ability to offer the highest quality visitor experience,” said Dr. Francis Levine, president of the Missouri Historical Society. “With our current staffing challenges and the highest surge in cases expected in the next 2-3 weeks, we feel a temporary closure is in the best interest of the health and safety of our staff, volunteers and visitors.”

The Missouri Historical Society will continue to monitor the situation. Updates will be shared online at For more information on MHS’s COVID-19 protocols visit

Several events that were scheduled as part of the Missouri History Museum’s 8th Annual MLK Community Celebration will be offered virtually via Zoom, visit the events page for the most up-to-date information. Remote research assistance from the MHS Library & Research Center is available. Researchers may email for assistance or fill out the online contact form. Check out MHS’s History at Home page to discover more ways to connect with St. Louis history online.

The Art Museum also cited the spike in cases of COVID-19 in the decision to tempor.

“The rapid spread of the Omicron variant in our community—as well as positive COVID cases among Museum employees and their families—has compromised our ability to operate the Museum for the benefit of our visitors while continuing to be safe for our staff,” the museum wrote in a news release.

Patron who had bought tickets for last weekend to see the “Art Along the Rivers: A Bicentennial Celebration” exhibit will have their tickets automatically refunded. The exhibit, which was set to run through Sunday, won’t be extended, art museum officials said.

“During this public closure, the Museum will continue to offer robust virtual programs and will explore ways to further strengthen procedures that will allow us to reopen safely,” the museum wrote in its release.

Officials will share reopening updates on the Saint Louis Art Museum website and social media pages.

Staff is home to The NorthSider and The SouthSider weekly community newspapers. The SouthSider publishes 25,000 copies every Tuesday. The NorthSider publishes 25,000 copies every Thursday. They are distributed at over 600 locations across St. Louis.

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