Visiting Us During the Pandemic: What You Need to Know

Welcome! The Ackland reopened its doors on Wednesday, January 27 with timed ticketing and limited capacity. Scroll down for tickets and all the information you’ll need for your visit. We can’t wait to welcome you back!

What To Expect

Welcome back to the Ackland! We’ve missed you!

In order to open to the public as safely as possible during the pandemic, the Ackland Art Museum has made significant changes to our daily operations. We want to ensure that visitors have the best experience possible.

This page will help provide more information about what you can expect during your visit, including:

  • Updated hours
  • Required free timed ticketing
  • Enhanced cleaning and safety precautions

Public Health Guidelines We’re Following


The Ackland Art Museum is committed to fulfilling our mission in a manner that makes the safety and well-being of Museum visitors, volunteers, and staff our highest priority. In developing appropriate protocols and procedures, we have followed the recommended guidelines of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services, and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

Plan Your Visit & Reserve Your Tickets

To accommodate a timed ticketing entry system, the Ackland’s hours of operation have changed.

Visitors can enjoy a visit to the Ackland during the following operating hours starting Wednesday, January 27:

Wednesday – Saturday | 1:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Online Ticket Reservations

  • To allow for physical distancing, occupancy will be limited to 25% of capacity using a timed entry system. With fewer visitors in the Museum, you’ll have a more intimate art viewing experience.
  • All visitors must get tickets online via this page in advance of your preferred day and time, including children. Tickets must be booked at least 24 hours in advance. Ticket confirmations include a QR code, which may be either printed out at home or accessed on a smartphone.

Timed Ticket Information

  • A limited number of free, timed tickets are available for our visitors during this first phase of reopening.
  • Public tickets will be released on this page every other Thursday, on a first come, first served basis. Limit 4 tickets per visitor household.
  • You must include an email address with your order to receive your ticket confirmation.
  • For the safety and security of the Museum’s visitors, you must register all guests in your party for contact tracing purposes when reserving tickets. Museum staff will check in visitors by matching the registered names with tickets upon entry.

The last ticket reservation for the day is at 4 p.m. and there will be no new entries into the museum after 4:15 p.m.


During Your Visit


Mask Policy

We require all staff and visitors to wear masks while visiting the Museum. We are wearing masks to protect you, so we ask you to wear a mask to protect us.

  • Please wear a fitted mask. Gaiters, vented masks, and bandanas are not currently accepted.
  • Face masks will be available free of charge for those who arrive without one.
  • We ask that you delay your visit if you or anyone in your party cannot wear a mask for any reason.

Health & Safety

  • We prescreen the health of our employees, requiring them to stay home if they feel sick, and we ask our visitors to do the same.  If you or anyone in your party are experiencing any symptoms of COVID-19, we ask that you reschedule your visit to the Ackland.
  • Hand sanitizer stations are located throughout the Museum. We encourage visitors and staff to use them and to wash your hands often.
  • We have enhanced our cleaning procedures and frequently disinfect regularly touched surfaces. Cleaning is happening continuously throughout the day and deeper cleaning will take place between scheduled visitor time slots.
  • Overall capacity is limited to 25% for each one-hour timed entry to allow for more physical distancing throughout the building. All galleries will be monitored by staff and have capacities posted. We ask that you help us by spreading out at least 6 feet from other individuals and groups.
  • Plexiglass shields have been installed in our lobby check-in desk and museum store.

An inherent risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public place where people are present. COVID-19 is extremely contagious.

What Will Be Different?

  • Access to the lockers and coat room is currently unavailable. Please help us keep each other and the art safe by planning to leave large bags, food, and drinks at home.
  • Our Museum Store is open with limited capacity. Please be especially mindful of other patrons and staff when in this space.
  • All shared surfaces and furniture have been removed from galleries and common areas, including ART&. Gallery stools are available in the lobby to those who need them; they will be cleaned by staff after each use.
  • The second-floor gallery space is currently closed. The study gallery (renamed Object Lessons) has moved into Gallery 6 on the main level.
  • Visitors are encouraged to access our About the Art Guides and Gallery Maps digitally with QR codes located throughout the Museum if possible. Disposable physical self-guided tours and gallery maps will be available in the lobby.
  • Public tours, on-site programs, and other in-person events are currently suspended. We will continue to offer high-quality online programming for all on our website so that at-home visitors can remain connected with the  Ackland while our pandemic protocols are in effect.

Frequently Asked Questions – FAQs

I’m a student or faculty member. Do I need to reserve tickets?
Yes, all guests, including those visiting for academic purposes, must reserve tickets in advance of their next visit. If you are a faculty member who wishes to use the museum for a course, please contact

What if I arrive earlier or later than the time on my ticket?
We cannot guarantee entry outside of your reservation window due to guidelines for capacity. We ask that everyone arrive no more than 5 minutes before the start of their ticket to help us manage the outside queue, as we are unable to allow visitors into the Museum building early. Ticket admission is for one hour regardless of your arrival time. If you arrive more than 20 minutes after the time on your ticket, please speak with an Ackland staff member about creating a new reservation for the next available time slot.

Can I leave and come back the same day?
No, re-entry is not allowed at this time.

What if I want to visit the Museum for more than one hour?
Visitors who wish to spend more than one hour in the Museum are encouraged to register for consecutive timed entry tickets during the registration process. Additional time in the Museum is not available for visitors once their ticketing time is over due to reduced capacity limitations.

What happens if I show up without a reserved ticket?
All guests must reserve their ticket online before they visit the Ackland. We cannot guarantee entry to visitors who do not have a ticket. Walk-ins are subject to capacity limits and will be determined on a case-by-case basis.

Is there a limit to the number of people in a group or household?
Group reservations are currently unavailable. Registration is limited to 4 tickets per household.

How do I enter the Museum and check in?
Visitors to the Ackland are required to queue outside of the Museum before their ticket time in order to follow lobby occupancy restrictions. Because of this, we ask that visitors arrive no more than 5 minutes before the start of their slot.

Due to the ongoing construction project at the front of the building, a staff member will be on-site to help visitors with questions as well as monitor admission flow into the building.

Once inside the building, a staff member at the front desk will check visitors in by scanning their ticketing QR code, which may be printed out at home or accessed on a smart phone.

Will there be any special exhibitions on view?

Yes, our exhibitions are now open. Please visit the On View page for information on current and upcoming exhibitions.

Terms & Conditions

The Ackland Art Museum cannot guarantee that any visitor will not contract COVID-19 while on the Ackland’s premises. By reserving a ticket and visiting the Ackland, all visitors voluntarily assume all risks related to COVID-19 exposure, since this risk exists in any public setting.

Tickets may be requested for parties of no more than four (4) people per visit and must be reserved in advance. The Ackland may ask visitors whether they are experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 recognized by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The Ackland reserves the right to deny entrance to any visitor or members of that visitor’s party who report having COVID-19 or who exhibit possible COVID-19 symptoms. If visitors experience these symptoms while in the Museum, they may be asked to leave.

We ask for visitors’ cooperation to help protect the health and safety of our community. Visitors must comply with all visitor protocols set forth in the Ackland’s Visit webpage, ticketing confirmation communications, posted signage, and instructions from staff. The Ackland reserves the right to refuse or revoke entry to any visitor, including members of that visitor’s party, for failing to comply with protective measures.

The Ackland is collecting and retaining visitor contact information to allow for notification if a visitor may have been exposed to COVID-19. Contact information may be shared with public health officials if a visitor has been exposed, at which time health officials would contact the visitor to answer questions and provide resources. By purchasing a ticket, visitors consent to the collection, use, and disclosure of their contact information, and acknowledge that these procedures do not create any right to notification.

The information you provided for this reservation may also be used to inform you about future exhibitions, events, and programs or used to solicit for optional feedback via anonymous surveys; the Ackland will not share your information with any third parties. You can unsubscribe from future communications by clicking the unsubscribe link in any email you receive from the Ackland.

Welcome back to the Ackland! We thank you for visiting, and we appreciate your understanding.