The National Gallery of Art’s major spring exhibition, “The Life of Animals in Japanese Art,” will open a month late, the latest casualty — but not the last — of January’s record-setting government shutdown.
The Japanese art exhibition will open June 2 and run 11 weeks instead of 12. After closing Aug. 18, the show will move to the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.
The National Gallery of Art already delayed the year’s blockbuster exhibition, “Tintoretto: Artist of Renaissance Venice,” because of the shutdown. That show, and two complementary print shows, will open March 24. Two other spring shows will be delayed, and a show planned for November has been postponed until 2020.
Museum officials had expected to be able to open the Japanese show on time, according to D. Dodge Thompson, the gallery’s chief of exhibitions. But contractors took other jobs during the shutdown, and materials were delayed.
The gallery must build more than 80 display cases, some of them 20 feet long, for the show, which features 315 works of various media, including paintings, sculptures, textiles and metalwork. It will cover 18,000 square feet of the Concourse Galleries in the museum’s East Building, according to Thompson.
The partial government shutdown lasted 35 days, from Dec. 22 through Jan. 25. The National Gallery and the Smithsonian museums used reserve funds to keep their doors open through December, one of their busiest times of the year.
The National Gallery estimates it lost more than 300,000 visitors during its 25-day closure. Dozens of films and concerts were canceled, and the gallery’s Sculpture Garden ice rink lost one-quarter of its season. The gallery also lost $1.2 million in revenue from its restaurants and shops.
The shutdown’s ripple effect will continue into next year. “Oliver Lee Jackson: Recent Paintings” will open three weeks late, on April 14, while an exhibition of lunar photographs set for April 28 will open July 14. A small exhibit, “Raphael,” has been moved from November to February 2020.
The Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery has delayed its landmark exhibit on women’s suffrage, “Votes for Women: A Portrait of Persistence,” from March 1 until March 29, and the National Museum of African Art has pushed the opening of “Striking Iron: The Art of the African Blacksmith” from Feb. 27 until April 17.