WEM Reopening FAQs

When can I schedule a tour?

The Museum is currently closed to all on-site visitors. Updates to our reopening plans will be announced on our Visit page.

How do I purchase tickets?

Tour tickets must be reserved and purchased in advance. Make your reservation here. Walk-in visitors will NOT be accommodated.

I live in out-of-state and would like to tour the Museum, can I make reservations at this time?

No, only Pennsylvania residents may make tour reservations during the current phase of our reopening plan. The Museum reserves the right to refuse reservations to out-of-state visitors, or Pennsylvania residents who have recently traveled to other states, during all phases of our COVID-19 reopening plan.

How many people will be allowed in the museum at any one time?

In order to adhere to the capacity restrictions set by the state of Pennsylvania, tours will be limited to one household group with 4 individuals maximum, for the foreseeable future.

What is your policy on masks and face coverings?

Pennsylvania mandates wearing a face mask in public. This simple action keeps our visitors and employees safe, helping to stop the spread. Museum employees are required to wear face masks. Visitors must wear a mask at all times on the premises, both indoors and outside. Disposable face masks will be made available for purchase for anyone who does not have them. The Wharton Esherick Museum is committed to accessibility for all visitors. If you or a member of your household group has a medical condition or disability that prevents you from wearing a face covering, reasonable accommodations will be made for you. Please email us at info@whartonesherickmuseum.org in advance of your visit to receive more information.

Will you be taking temperatures of staff and visitors?

We are requiring employees to do a self-administered health screening before reporting to work to check for COVID-19 symptoms. If any employees or volunteers have a temperature of 100.4 or higher, they will be sent home and monitored. We will not be taking visitors’ temperatures.

What if I am sick?

If you have a fever, are exhibiting any COVID-19 symptoms, or have been exposed to anyone else with symptoms within a two-week period prior to your visit, we ask that you plan to come to the museum at a later date and can help you reschedule. If you experience any symptoms within two weeks of your museum visit, please let us know immediately by calling (610) 644-5822 or emailing info@whartonesherickmuseum.org. The museum will be following Pennsylvania State Department of Health guidelines for contact tracing.

Do members still get in free?

Yes! Members always receive free admission to the Wharton Esherick Museum. Learn more about membership here.

My membership expired during WEM’s closure; will it be extended?

Yes. All memberships active between March 31 and August 31, 2020, have been automatically extended for 5 months.

I purchased a new membership during WEM’s closure; will it be extended?

All memberships active between March 31 and August 31, 2020, have been automatically extended for 5 months.

Do I need to practice social distancing?

Yes! All members and guests visiting the Wharton Esherick Museum must abide by social distancing guidelines, keeping at least 6 feet away from staff and volunteers.

What cleaning and sanitation efforts will be in place?

We are conducting enhanced COVID-19 cleaning procedures (including thorough, frequent cleanings of high-touch surface areas), in addition to a daily standard cleaning. Our restroom is cleaned frequently during open hours and are deep-cleaned in the evenings after the building is closed to the public. Hand sanitizer is available for staff, volunteers and visitors.

What other safety precautions are encouraged from guests?

We are committed to implementing as many touch-free policies as possible, so the following actions are suggested from our guests:

• In order to limit on-site staff interaction all visitors must reserve and purchase tickets prior to their visit online. No exceptions.

• All store transactions must be made by credit or debit card; no cash will be accepted for the foreseeable future.

• We ask that all guests abide by the safety information conveyed on-site, whether through signage or staff instruction.

Will restrooms be open?

Yes, the museum restroom will be available and cleaned regularly, though we strongly encourage visitors to plan ahead and avoid the public restroom if possible.

Will the museum store be open?

Yes, the Museum Store will be open only to visitors on site with advance reservations. In an effort to create as many contactless procedures as possible, please note that cash will NOT be accepted. The museum accepts Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express. You can shop at our online store anytime.

What WEM events are changing in 2020?

• Annual Party – The Museum’s Annual Party, always scheduled on the Second Sunday in September, will take place virtually on 9/13/2020. Please check our website for details to follow.

• Wine and Cheese/Oktoberfest – All Wine and Cheese and Oktoberfest tours are canceled for 2020.

If I purchased a ticket for an event that was canceled, will I receive a refund?

If you purchased a ticket for an event that was canceled, we will be happy to assist you and will honor your tickets. If you will not be able to reschedule your visit, we can issue you a refund. Or, if you are able, please consider donating your refund to the Museum.

I am unable to visit right now. Are there virtual ways to experience the Wharton Esherick Museum?

Yes! While the Museum is temporarily closed, we encourage you to stay connected to the optimism and warmth of Esherick’s Studio through the resources listed on the Explore page of our website. Special features focus on Collection Highlights, Online Resources for Educators, Activities for K-12 students, and our Notes from the Studio blog. We’re hosting online events and you can find those listings on the Explore page as well. If you are an educator and would like to host a virtual guest lecture or special program on Esherick for your students, contact the museum using the information on the Online Resources for Educators page.

I want to support the museum’s work. How do I do that?

Thank you! Along with museums across the world, the Wharton Esherick Museum has suffered substantial financial losses due to the pandemic. Now, more than ever, we depend on you to keep our doors open and to further our mission of preserving and sharing the work of Wharton Esherick. Please consider making a donation today, and thank you!

General FAQs

Can I take photographs inside the museum?

Yes, casual photography is allowed on our guided tours. Tripods are not allowed on the guided tour. Professional photo shoots, commercial or otherwise, must be scheduled in advance. Videography is not permitted on tour.

Do you have a cafe at the museum?

No, there is no food or drink for sale at the Museum.

What kind of volunteer opportunities are available at the Museum?

Our greatest volunteer needs are for Museum docents, though we are always eager to put helping hands to work. Please contact maria@whartonesherickmuseum.org to see how you can get involved.

I have a Wharton Esherick piece that I’m thinking about donating to the museum. How should I connect with you?

We are always glad to connect with you around a potential donation to the Esherick Museum. Please email emily@whartonesherickmuseum.org to talk in further depth. Do keep in mind that the museum primarily collects works by Esherick that have either a close connection to the Studio space and WEM campus or are works of particular importance.

I have a piece by Wharton Esherick in my personal collection. Can you authenticate my work, provide me with a valuation, or advise me on conserving my piece?
WEM is restricted by law from providing appraisals. If you need a verification or valuation of your art or possessions for tax, insurance, or sales purposes, we can share resources related to qualified appraisers and auction houses who have experience with Wharton Esherick’s work. We also advise consulting the website for the American Society of Appraisers to find valuation professionals in your area. Similarly, we do not provide conservation advice, but suggest you consult the website for the American Institute for Conservation.