What to Know When SAM Reopens

Updated February 1, 2021

Come back to SAM! Seattle Art Museum is reopening to members on February 27 and to the public on March 5. The museum will initially open at a limited capacity on Fridays through Sundays, 10 am–5 pm. The Asian Art Museum, and the PACCAR Pavilion at the Olympic Sculpture Park continue to be closed. The outdoor spaces at the Olympic Sculpture Park remain open to the public.  

We have been thoughtfully planning for our reopening in alignment with Governor Inslee’s Healthy Washington—Roadmap to Recovery plan and recommendations of relevant state, local, and federal authorities. Reopening the downtown museum and remaining open, is dependent on the latest guidance for Puget Sound area. Be a part of our safe start by reviewing these details about procedures visitors will be required to follow during their visit.

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Timed Ticket Required
Ticketing is timed to limit capacity.

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Capacity Limited
Some galleries are closed; some will have capacity limits.

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Masks Required
Staff and visitors over the age of two must wear masks.

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Physical Distancing Required
Follow guidelines in public spaces and galleries.

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Coat Check Closed
Backpacks, large bags, or items bigger than 11″ x 15″ are not allowed

Plan Your Visit

Seattle Art Museum Hours
Friday–Sunday, 10 am–5 pm.
Free First Thursdays, starting April 1, 10 am–5 pm


Feb 27–28: The museum is open exclusively to SAM members to preview Jacob Lawrence: The American Struggle. Tickets will be available on February 11. If you want to see our newest exhibition first and see it for free, become a member today.

Mar 5–7: The public opening of SAM’s downtown location is just in time to open our newest special exhibition. You can get tickets starting February 18.

Online Timed Tickets Required
To allow for physical distancing, capacity will be limited and ticketing will be timed. Everyone must get tickets online in advance. Tickets will be released on a rolling basis weekly on Thursdays.

Print out your ticket at home or download to a smartphone. With fewer visitors in the museum, you’ll have an intimate art viewing experience.

SAM members are always free
Members must get timed tickets online in advance. A percentage of daily tickets will be available online only to members. Not a member? Join today.

Our new ticketing system will look a little different and will require you to create a new password when using it for the first time. Once logged in your complimentary member tickets will be reflected in your cart.  If you have questions about your membership or need assistance with tickets please contact us.

Accessibility Accommodations
If you require accommodations, please contact customerservice@seattleartmuseum before your visit, as we may require advanced notice to provide certain accommodations.

Leave backpacks and bags larger than 11” x 15” at home
To align with physical distancing guidelines, SAM’s coat check will be closed. Please make alternative arrangements to store your belongings prior to entering the museum.

Download a gallery map in advance
To help create a contactless experience, we will not be distributing a printed map and guide. Download a map to your smartphone to use during your visit.

Park for less!
The Russell Investment Center garage is $8 on weekends only, for up to 4 hours. Learn more

Keep our community healthy! Please visit at another time if you:

  • Are feeling sick or experiencing symptoms
  • Live with or care for someone who has been ill
  • Have traveled in the last 14 days
  • Live with or care for someone who has recently traveled

Please contact customerservice@seattleartmuseum.org to exchange your ticket for another day and time if any of the above applies to you.

Recognize Risk
SAM has implemented many safety measures and has a state-of-the-art ventilation system, but cannot guarantee zero risk; a risk of exposure to COVID-19 exists in any public setting.

When You Arrive

Enter at First and Union
The south entrance (the Hammering Man entrance) and the South Hall will be closed.

Wear a mask
Face masks will be required for all visitors over the age of two. Use of masks is mandated by the Governor and will be enforced; staff will confirm you have masks for every member of your party before you enter the building.

Check the entry time on your ticket
Have your print-at-home or smart phone timed ticket ready to be scanned and be in line 10 minutes prior to your time. If you are more than 20 minutes late, we may not be able to accommodate entry.

Follow physical distancing guidelines
One-way traffic flows and helpful guidelines throughout the museum will identify safe distances between visitors. Children must stay with adults at all times. Physical distancing will be enforced.

Expect some areas to be closed
The Italian Room will not be open to the public when we reopen. The Ann P. Wyckoff Education Resource Center, Bullitt Library, and children play areas will also be closed. TASTE Café will be closed.

Prepare for limited capacity in restrooms
Selected restroom stalls will be closed. Capacity limits will be posted on bathroom doors.

Wash your hands and use hand sanitizers
We have instituted rigorous cleaning procedures using EPA registered disinfectants throughout the museum, with a special focus on high-touch and high-traffic areas and restrooms. We ask that you do your part by washing your hands frequently and using hand sanitizers located throughout the museum.

Expect a contactless experience
Shared materials have been removed from the galleries and interactive touchscreens have been disabled.

Visit SAM Shop!
SAM Shop and Gallery will be open during museum open hours with limited capacity. Please visit SAM Shop if you need to purchase water during your visit.

Help Contact Tracing
In alignment with guidance from the Governor’s Office and King County public health officials, SAM is storing ticket buyer information and requesting contact information for all visitors for contact tracing purposes. Learn more

Also please note that if we are unable to reopen or remain open as planned because of changes to public health guidelines, SAM will contact ticket holders via email to present options for moving tickets to a new day and time. 

We have worked hard to make visitors and staff comfortable during their visit and hope to see you soon!