Museum Employee Claps Back at Magazine Critic For Ignoring COVID Restrictions

An employee from New York's New Museum responded to famed art critic and How To Be An Artist author Jerry Saltz on Twitter after he'd tweeted about the museum's COVID restrictions. She snapped back at him, saying he'd ignored the rules.

On Tuesday night, Saltz tweeted that he'd gone to the museum but wasn't allowed in. "Museums are strict about enforcing their Covid rules. I visited the @newmuseum today and the would not let me in because I had not pre-booked. My bad," he wrote.

Sharing a photo of himself posing with his mask around his arm outside the museum, Saltz joked about leveraging his success in the art world. "There wasn't a soul in the lobby. Wanted to say 'Do you know who I am?' but thought it sounded d**kish," he wrote.

It doesn't seem like Saltz was bitter about not being let in, though. In an Instagram post sharing the same photo, he still offered praise for the museum. "I [love] The New Museum; One if [sic] the best museums in this country," he concluded the post.

Someone named Lizzie who apparently works at the museum and allegedly spoke to Saltz when he went to the museum quote-tweeted the critic and said that she was well aware of who he was, but that doesn't exempt him. "[I] already knew who he was and he took his mask off to speak to me. [I]t's almost as if some people think rules don't apply to them," she wrote.

On Twitter, people praised Lizzie including Sex and the City actor Evan Handler and writer Tressie McMillan Cottom.

Some people did respond to Lizzie saying that even though she didn't do anything wrong, she should've let the critic in, "because you never know where conversations can take you," to which she responded that the rules were clearly printed near where she spoke to him. She also wrote that the employees do answer any questions from visitors on the phone.

In an Instagram story sharing Saltz's photo, Lizzie shared a similar thought. She did make a joke that COVID-19 "doesn't care about name dropping."

People also responded to Saltz's tweet negatively with some making fun of his joke to say "Do you know who I am," but he responded lightly confirming that he was joking in that regard.

The New Museum's website lists rules and protocol for visitors, noting that the museum is operating at less than 25 percent capacity. The museum is free to visitors until September 27. Despite it being free, the site does note that "All visitors will be required to purchase admission tickets in advance online at newmuseum.org."

Other rules listed by the museum include not admitting anyone with a temperature above 100.4°F, requiring staff members and guests over the age four to wear face masks, requiring families and household groups to maintain six feet of social distance during the visit, and more.

A press contact for the publisher of Saltz's book did not respond to Newsweek's emailed request for comment in time for publication. Lizzie did not respond to Newsweek's emailed request for comment in time for publication.

New Museum
People wear protective face masks while riding bicycles outside New Museum as the city continues Phase 4 of re-opening following restrictions imposed to slow the spread of coronavirus on September 13, 2020 in New York City. Noam Galai/Getty
Museum Employee Claps Back at Magazine Critic For Ignoring COVID Restrictions | Culture