Emily Dickinson Museum to reopen Aug. 16 in Amherst

  • The Emily Dickinson Museum, closed since mid March 2020, reopens Aug. 16 following extensive restoration work to the poet’s home. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

  • A room in the Dickinson Homestead known as the Northwest Chamber, never previously open to the public, will now welcome visitors when the Emily Dickinson Museum reopens Aug. 16. GAZETTE FILE PHOTO

Staff Writer
Published: 8/7/2022 9:33:55 PM
Modified: 8/7/2022 9:30:39 PM

AMHERST — The Emily Dickinson Museum, shuttered since COVID-19 arrived in March 2020, will finally reopen Aug. 16 following major restorations to the Dickinson Homestead.

It’s been a long haul for museum staff, who developed many new online programs during the pandemic and also oversaw extensive work on the Homestead, originally built in 1813, that’s been done to return the house to the way it looked in the mid 19th century, when the Belle of Amherst wrote her poetry.

With the help of architects and specialists such as 19th-century decorative arts experts, the Dickinson Homestead has been reconfigured with period-style wallpaper, floor coverings, and other finishings, as well as significant remodeling to re-create the home’s original interior.

The museum has also added new heating and cooling systems to the Homestead to provide better temperature and humidity control to the property and its collections.

The Evergreens, the nearby house built in 1856 for Austin Dickinson, Emily’s brother, and Austin’s wife, Susan, remains closed for continued preservation improvements.

Jane Wald, the museum’s executive director, says she’s thrilled to welcome visitors back, adding that the restoration work and additional research into Emily Dickinson’s life that was completed during the pandemic will allow museum staff to tell a more complete story about Dickinson and her family.

“Now, every guest at Emily Dickinson’s home will have a more authentic experience of the place where her poetic genius flourished,” Wald said in a statement.

Given what they call a “surge of interest” in Amherst’s famous poet that developed during the pandemic, such as Apple TV+’s popular series “Dickinson,” museum officials say they anticipate “significant visitation” in the coming months.

Admission to the museum is by guided tour, for which advance-purchased timed tickets are required. For the most up-to-date information about scheduling your visit and purchasing your tickets, please read the instructions via: EmilyDickinsonMuseum.org/Visit.

Steve Pfarrer can be reached at spfarrer@gazettenet.com.


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