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Art, design and architectural events cancelled or suspended due to Coronavirus

As museums and galleries shut doors and major events get suspended due to the global COVID-19 pandemic, STIR brings you a list of missed action in art, design and architecture.

by STIRworldPublished on : Mar 14, 2020

The global design, art and architecture industries are suffering a massive setback due to the worldwide pandemic caused by the Coronavirus outbreak. COVID-19 continues to wreak havoc around the world with over 1,38,000 cases and 5000 deaths across 132 countries (figures at the time of publishing). Leading events, fairs, conventions and festivals have either been cancelled or rescheduled, and most major museums and galleries have shut down. STIR surveys the situation and brings to you the latest updates on all that has been called off.


1. Art Basel Hong Kong 2020
Hong Kong Convention and Exhibition Centre, China

It is an international art event that sells the works of established and emerging artists, and features premier galleries from across the world. Art Basel Hong Kong, originally scheduled from March 19-21, 2020, at the Hong Kong Convention Centre, has now been cancelled due to the Coronavirus outbreak. “We remain committed to Hong Kong and look forward to welcoming you to the next edition of Art Basel Hong Kong on March 25-27, 2021,” informs the website.

2. TEFAF Maastricht 2020
Maastricht, The Netherlands

The European Fine Art Fair (TEFAF) is widely regarded as the world’s pre-eminent organisation for fine art, antiques and design. The ongoing TEFAF M2020, which was initially planned to take place from March 7 -15, 2020, has been closed prematurely on March 11, 2020, due to the global pandemic.


1. Design Shanghai
Shanghai World Expo Exhibition and Convention Centre, Shanghai, China

Original dates: March 12 – 15, 2020

Design Shanghai has now been rescheduled to take place from May 26 - 29, 2020 Image Credit: Courtesy of design_shanghai

Design Shanghai is Asia’s leading design event, showcasing the best design brands and galleries from across the world, and providing an exciting platform for top architects, interior designers, property developers, retailers and private buyers to network and establish relationships. The seventh edition of Design Shanghai has been rescheduled to take place from May 26 - 29, 2020, in wake of the Coronavirus outbreak in China.

2. Art Cologne 2020
Donnerstag to Sonntag, Cologne, Germany

Original dates: April 23 – 26, 2020

Art Cologne is one of the most regarded international addresses for high quality art of the 20th and 21st century. Over 200 leading international galleries across 20 countries come together annually, to present modern and contemporary artworks, by more than 2000 artists. The art event has been rescheduled to new dates in wake of the Coronavirus epidemic. “Koelnmesse GmbH is postponing the Art Cologne trade fair for modern and contemporary art. It will take place from November 19 – 22, 2020, and be held in Cologne, parallel to Cologne Fine Art & Design,” reads their official notice.

3. Venice Biennale Architettura 2020
Venice, Italy

Original dates: May 23 – November 29, 2020

The Biennale Architettura 2020, curated by Hashim Sarkis, will now be held in Venice (Giardini and Arsenale) from August 29 - November 29, 2020. The architecture segment of the Venice Biennale is a platform for architects and designers to show new projects, and as stated by Sarkis, “The Biennale Architettura 2020 asserts the vital role of the architect as both cordial convener and custodian of the spatial contract.”

“The new dates for the Biennale Architettura have been established as a consequence of the recent precautionary measures in the matter of mobility taken by the governments of a growing number of countries around the world. This period of time coincides with the delicate initial phase of setting up an international exhibition as complex as the Biennale Architettura, which involves architects and institutions from over 60 countries on all continents,” says the official statement.

4. ArteBA 2020
Buenos Aires, Argentina

Original dates: April 16 –19, 2020

ArteBA 2020 are a non-profit, non-governmental organisation working to develop and strengthen the art market globally. Due to COVID-19’s impact globally, and the recent decision of the WHO to declare it a pandemic, the art event in Buenos Aires has now been pushed ahead. “The new date will be defined once the conditions are in place for the fair to develop in an absolutely safe manner,” say the organisers.

5. Affordable Art Fair Brussels
Brussels, Belgium

Original dates: March 20 – 22, 2020

Affordable Art Fair Brussels is currently working on securing new fair dates, to be announced soon Image Credit: Courtesy of affordableartfairbrussels

The Brussels Affordable Art Fair brings local, national and international galleries to display thousands of affordable contemporary artworks all priced up to €7,500. The international art event's 12th edition has now been postponed until September 11 – 13, 2020 (Vernissage, September 10) .

6. DRAWING NOW Art Fair 2020
Paris, France

Original date: March 2020

The first contemporary art fair exclusively dedicated to drawing in Europe, is held in March annually. A leading event centered around art and drawing, it hosts around 70 international galleries where collectors and art lovers discover some 2,000 works by 400 artists. The 14th edition of DRAWING NOW Art Fair will now be held from May 29-June 31, 2020.

7. Sharjah Art Fair March Meeting 2020
Sharjah, UAE

Original dates: March 21 – 23, 2020

An annual three-day convention of panels, performances and events, the Sharjah Art Foundation’s March Meeting sees artists, curators and art practitioners from around the world who come together to discuss vital issues in contemporary art. Titled ‘Unravelling the Present', this years edition of the March Meeting forms part of the Sharjah Biennial 15: ‘Thinking Historically in the Present’. The new announcement informs: "March Meeting 2020 scheduled from March 21 to 23, is postponed until further notice due to the growing concern over Coronavirus.”

8. miart 2020
Milan, Italy

Original Dates: March 21 – 23, 2020

miart 2020 announces the new dates for its 25th edition, which will be held from September 11 - 13, 2020 Image Credit: Courtesy of miartmilano

The miart fair merges contemporary art, modern art and limited-edition design, while exploring the relationship between the past and the present of creativity over three days. The new dates for their 25th edition have been announced, and the event will now take place from September 11 - 13, 2020.

9. Art Dubai 2020
Dubai, UAE

Original Dates: March 25 – 28, 2020

“Featuring four gallery sections (Contemporary, Modern, Bawwaba and Residents), the fair drives meaningful engagement with the rich cultural heritage and contemporary art practices of the region and extends to territories across ‘The Global South’, including South East Asia, the African continent, Latin America and Australasia,” states the official website. The 14th edition of the international art fair, Art Dubai planned for March this year, has now been rescheduled. The foundation has announced plans for new Dubai-focused programme in its place.

10. Lille Art Up! 2020
Lille Grand Pallais, Lille, France

Original dates: March 5 – 8, 2020

Exhibitors from France and all over Europe present their best contemporary artwork at the event, which is organised by Lille Grand Palais. The third largest contemporary art event in France, Art Up! 2020 has welcomed over 40,000 visitors in its previous editions. The theme for this year’s edition is ‘The thread of art: how textile art, once solely intertwined with tapestry, has now become an art of the future.’ An announcement issued by the official website reads, “The evolution of the Coronavirus epidemic leads us to postpone Art Up! which will now take place from June 25 - 28, 2020.”

11. Salone del Mobile.Milano 2020
Milan, Italy

Original dates: April 21 – 26, 2020

New dates for Salone del Mobile.Milano have been announcedImage Credit: Courtesy of isaloniofficial

Salone del Mobile.Milano showcases over 2,300 of the most creative design and furnishing companies on the global market, each year. The coveted design event is attended by more than 370,000 professionals, along with more than 5,000 national and international journalists and around 27,500 members of the public. The 59th edition of Salone del Mobile.Milano has now been rescheduled to June 16 – 21, 2020, following severe casualties nationwide.

12. CIFF 2020
Guangzhou, China

Original dates: March 18 – 21 and March 28 – 31, 2020

The China International Furniture Fair is considered the world’s largest furniture exhibition and the most important furniture design event in China. “The 45th CIFF Guangzhou and China International Furniture Machinery & Furniture Raw Materials Fair 2020 has been postponed until a later date,” informs the official website.

13. Light + Building
Frankfurt Exhibition Centre, Frankfurt, Germany

Original dates: March 8 – 13, 2020

New dates for Light + Building have been announcedImage Credit: Courtesy of building.technologies.messeffm

Light + Building is an international trade fair that encompasses all electrically based building services systems. The fair showcases solutions to reduce energy consumption in buildings, in tandem with raising comfort levels within them. More than 2,700 exhibitors present at Light + Building, with over 220,000 attendees, which include architects, interior designers, planners, engineers, tradesmen and other designers from the industry.The world’s leading trade fair for lighting and building services technology, Light + Building will now take place from September 27 - October 2, 2020.

14. Expocasa 2020
Turin, Italy

Original dates: February 29, 2020

The main exhibition of Expocasa is devoted to furniture and interior design in north-west Italy. Expocasa is like a huge showroom for the general public and every kind of furniture and home automation systems are represented at the show, from contemporary design to traditional artisan excellence. All events under Expocasa have been moved from March to later months in the year.

15. Architectural Digest Design Show 2020
12th Avenue, New York City, United States

Original dates: March 19 – 22, 2020

The Architectural Digest Design Show has been rescheduled to June 25-28, 2020Image Credit: Courtesy of addesignshow

The annual ADDS is a four-day extravaganza displaying furniture, accessories, lighting products, artworks, kitchen, bath, and building projects, with the show offering thousands of products to source and shop—both from independent makers and established manufacturers. “Growing concerns over the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak have prompted the rescheduling by the show management, Condé Nast, and many of its operating partners. We will provide ongoing updates as necessary,” reads the update on their official website. The 10th edition of ADDS is now rescheduled ford June 25-28, 2020.

CLOSED: Museums and Galleries

1. The Museum of Modern Art
New York City, United States

The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA PS1 and the MoMA stores in New York City have been closed through March 30, 2020Image Credit: Courtesy of themuseumofmodernart

The Museum of Modern Art has been shut down temporarily, given growing concerns over large gatherings in public spaces. An update on their official website states - “It is more and more challenging to predict the impact of the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, so we have decided to temporarily close The Museum of Modern Art, MoMA PS1, and the MoMA Design Stores on 53rd Street and in Soho. We will close, effective immediately, through March 30, 2020. We will reevaluate the situation at that time.”

2. Whitney Museum of American Art
New York City, United States

With no further dates announced, Whitney has also decided to temporarily shut its doors to the public and cancel all ongoing and upcoming events in the wake of the epidemic, beginning on Friday, March 13, 2020 at 17:00. An update on the official website reads, “We at the Whitney, like many of you, are actively monitoring COVID-19 as the circumstances in New York City continue to evolve. Any further updates will be announced on our website and social media channels”.

3. Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum
New York City, United States

Beginning March 13, 2020, the Solomon R Guggenheim Museum in New York will be temporarily closed to the public to contain the spread of COVID-19Image Credit: Courtesy of guggenheim

All tours and public events through April 30, 2020 have been rescheduled or cancelled at the Guggenheim, with no announcement of a target date for reopening. The official website informs, “As a proactive measure to protect the health of the museum’s visitors and staff in response to the Coronavirus (COVID-19), the museum is temporarily closed to the public until further notice.”

4. Dallas Museum of Art
Dallas, Texas, United States

“In line with the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) guidelines, we are cancelling all museum programs (on- and off-site) effective immediately through April 3, 2020. The Dallas Museum of Art remains open during regular operating hours and we will reassess the status and developments with the possibility of further revising operational plans,” reads their official statement.

5. David Zwirner Gallery
New York, United States | Hong Kong

To help contain the spread of COVID-19, all New York David Zwirner galleries are temporarily closed to the public, effective immediately Image Credit: Courtesy of davidzwirner

“In an effort to help contain the spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and to prioritize the safety of our staff, artists, visitors, and neighbors we will temporarily close all of David Zwirner New York galleries to the public, effective from Friday, March 13, 2020. Our 20th Street gallery will remain open by appointment only, for the time being. Our London and Paris galleries remain open to the public until further notice, and Hong Kong is expected to reopen soon following its closure due to Coronavirus,” states the official website.

6. Leeum Samsung Museum of Art
Seoul, South Korea

The official website of Leeum Samsung Museum of Art welcomes readers by saying “To ensure the safety of all visitors following the COVID-19 outbreak, we will be temporarily closed to the public. Please check our website for updates on our reopening date”.

7. The Metropolitan Museum of Art
New York City, United States

The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer and The Met Cloisters will close temporarily from March 13, 2020, until further noticeImage Credit: Courtesy of metmuseum

Temporary closure of all three MET locations –the Met Fifth Avenue, the Met Breuer, and the Met Cloisters have been announced on MET’s official website, effective March 13, 2020.  “While we don’t have any confirmed cases connected to the Museum, we believe that we must do all that we can to ensure a safe and healthy environment for our community, which at this time calls for us to minimize gatherings while maintaining the cleanest environment possible. We look forward to soon announcing when we’ll be able to welcome our staff and visitors back to the Museum.”

8. Van Gogh Museum
Amsterdam, The Netherlands

The museums's official website issues a notice - “Due to national policy relating to the Coronavirus (covid-19) the Van Gogh Museum will remain closed to the public until and including March 31, 2020."

8. Louvre Museum
Paris, France

“To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, the Louvre is taking measures to limit the number of people in the museum. Only visitors with pre-booked e-tickets will be guaranteed entry,” informs the museum's official website.

Additionally, all museums in Japan have been closed until March 17, 2020. Berlin has closed all museums and cultural institutions from March 13, 2020, effective until at least April 20, 2020, until further updates. All museums, heritage sites and cultural institutions in Italy have been closed until further notice, at least until April 3, 2020.

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