.Napa Valley Museum Sets Sights on June Reopening Date

After closing its doors to the public more than a year ago due to the pandemic, Yountville’s acclaimed Napa Valley Museum is ready once again welcome in-person visitors next month when it reopens all galleries to the public on Friday, June 18, 2021.

While several Napa County venues are already reopening, Napa Valley Museum is subject to stricter health regulations because the museum sits on the grounds of the Veterans Home of California. Still, the Museum has maintained an active online presence, including a virtual version of its popular exhibition, “Lucy Liu: One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others,” which opened a month before the pandemic hit the North Bay.

In the last year, the museum has also virtually exhibited well-regarded student shows and a vivid photography exhibition on the Napa and Sonoma County wildfires featuring images by Tim Carl.

“People from all over the world have viewed the ‘Lucy Liu’ virtual tour, which was our first exhibition filmed in 3D inside the gallery and a fundraiser for our reopening,” says Museum Executive Director Laura Rafaty. “But there is no substitute for seeing the works in person. We are so grateful that Lucy has allowed us to keep these works and reopen the exhibit to the public in our Main Gallery on June 18, on display through August 29. The virtual tour will continue to be available on our website, so people unable to travel to Napa Valley won’t have to miss out.”

This U.S. premiere exhibition of Liu’s paintings and sculpture comprises an intimate collection of deeply personal artwork, ranging from large-scale paintings to inventive mixed media works to intricate wood sculptures. Napa Valley Museum’s exhibit also includes a video title wall and other film showing Liu in her studio as she demonstrates and explains her techniques and inspirations.

“When we closed in March of 2020, we were seeing strong interest in the newly-opened ‘Lucy Liu’ exhibition, and getting ready to open a particularly strong student-curated exhibition in March,” says Rafaty. “We never dreamed we would be closed this long, and are lucky that we’ve been able to obtain government loans, grants and donations enabling our small nonprofit to remain viable. Many of our employees were furloughed, and some moved on to other things. In the meantime, many other exhibitions have been developed and scheduled, only to fall victim to our persistent closure. We so look forward to welcoming the public back to the Museum at along last, and to bringing our museum family – our artists, visitors, staff, trustees and members – back to our galleries.”

In addition to “Lucy Liu: One Of These Things Is Not Like The Others” in the main gallery, the Napa Valley Museum is exhibiting “The Yates Collection” in the spotlight gallery, showcasing exquisite works collected by the Yates Foundation and on long-term loan to the Museum.

The museum is also exhibiting “Land and People of the Napa Valley” in a new permanent gallery configuration in the history gallery that includes a display of the Veterans Home’s history.

The Museum is observing all Covid-related safety protocols, which are updated as the state, county and Veterans Home requirements change. The Museum’s virtual exhibitions will continue to be available on its website.

The Napa Valley Museum is located at 55 Presidents Circle in Yountville. Its scheduled reopening hours are Fridays–Sundays, 11am to 4 pm. The Museum hopes to resume its regular Wednesday–Sunday schedule as attendance demands.


Charlie Swanson
Charlie Swanson is a North Bay native and an arts and music writer and editor who has covered the local scene since 2014.
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