Jerry Saltz Wasn’t Allowed Into the New Museum; an Employee Explained Why

Art critic Jerry Saltz with his omnipresent cup of coffee. Andrew Toth/Getty Images for New York Magazine

Every avid museum-goer in New York City knows that even though most major institutions have opened back up to the public at this stage of coronavirus re-openings, they’re operating at diminished admission capacities and you have to buy timed tickets in order to be allowed entry. However, according to a series of tweets that lit up the platform earlier on Thursday, one particular art fanatic flouted a couple of rules on a recent trip to a museum: Jerry Saltz, the Pulitzer Prize-winning New York magazine art critic. “Museums are strict about enforcing their Covid rules,” Saltz wrote in a since-deleted tweet. “I visited the @newmuseum today and they would not let me in because I had not pre-booked.”

“My bad,” Saltz continued in his tweet. “There wasn’t a soul in the lobby. Wanted to say ‘Do you know who I am?’ but thought it sounded dickish.” This would have remained a totally innocuous tweet, but what followed afterwards totally turned the narrative on its head: a Twitter user whose first name is Lizzie quote tweeted Saltz’s tweet with a reply of her own that indicated she was the New Museum employee who had stopped Saltz from entering, and that Saltz hadn’t been entirely truthful in his recounting of the episode. “I already knew who he was and he took off his mask to speak to me,” Lizzie wrote. “It’s almost as if some people think rules don’t apply to them.” This reply promptly went viral.

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Saltz has since posted an apology, but hasn’t directly addressed the New Museum employee’s accusation that he removed his mask while talking to her. “Yesterday I posted that I couldn’t get into @newmuseum because I didn’t make a pre-appointment,” Saltz tweeted later on Thursday. “The Museum was 100% right. I posted it in jest and saying ‘Follow the rules.’ I said it was ‘My bad.’ The post caused pain & anger. I’m really sorry. I LOVE @newmuseum & museum workers.”

Jerry Saltz Wasn’t Allowed Into the New Museum; an Employee Explained Why