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. Starting May 14, tickets will no longer be required and walk-up visits will be welcome! Scroll down for 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
  • Limited capacity
  • 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.


A series of line drawings depicting pandemic safety measures such as masks and distancing

Plan Your Visit

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.

Limited Capacity

  • To allow for physical distancing, occupancy will be limited to 50% of capacity. With fewer visitors in the Museum, you’ll have a more intimate art viewing experience.
  • With limited capacity, visitors may be asked to wait outside until there is more space in the galleries. Larger groups are more likely to need to wait. We encourage guests to plan visits in small groups.
  • Wait times will also be more likely on weekends. We encourage visitors to plan visits during the week when possible.

To reserve tickets for our last days of ticketed-entry, please visit our event calendar.

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.
  • Overall capacity is limited to 50% at any given time 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?

  • 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.

Terms & Conditions

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

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, 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.

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