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story.lead_photo.caption Charlie and Mallory Baird (from left) of Bentonville, Laura Yarbrough of El Dorado and Anna Katherine Logan of Tulsa read the placard Saturday on a Dale Chihuly sculpture on a trail at the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonville. The museum opened to members Saturday and will open to the public Wednesday. More photos at Related article, 2B (NWA Democrat-Gazette/Ben Goff)

BENTONVILLE -- Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art reopened to its members Saturday for the first time since mid-March, when it closed because of the coronavirus.

Members will be able to visit the museum today and Monday.

The museum will open to the public Wednesday under covid-19 restrictions, said Emilio Fabico, Crystal Bridges chief operating officer.

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Access will be regulated by free, timed-entry tickets.

Visitors 10 and older are required to wear masks, and the museum will limit the number of guests to 30 every 15 minutes, according to its website.

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Those numbers are based on having no more than five people per 1,000 square feet of public space, which adheres to the one-third capacity under state guidelines for indoor venues.

The requirement for wearing masks and social distancing is likely to continue for several months, Fabico said.

"We'll adhere to whatever the state says," he said.

"We feel that people will be able to still enjoy the art at their own pace without having any concern about social distancing," he said. "I don't think it will feel that people are rushed or not able to enjoy it in the same way that they did before," he said.

The above restrictions and provisions will also apply to The Momentary, a Bentonville multidisciplinary contemporary art space owned by Crystal Bridges.

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The Momentary opened Feb. 22 in downtown Bentonville, only to close less than a month later because of the pandemic.


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