Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts announced Friday that it would remain closed through June 30 due to the ongoing coronavirus crisis. There will be no layoffs despite significant financial losses, the MFA said. Instead the museum will be furloughing 340 staff members whose income can be maintained (at or near current levels) by a combination of unemployment insurance and government assistance to the museum through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act.
“In making this decision, we struck a balance between work needs during closure and a calculation of how to keep all staff — for this period — as close to their original compensation as possible,” said spokesperson Karen Frascona. She added that the museum will continue to carry health insurance for furloughed staffers.
As part of these cost-saving measures, museum director Matthew Teitelbaum will voluntarily reduce his salary by 30 percent over the same time span. According to the museum’s 2018 tax return, the most recent available, Teitelbaum’s salary was $841,921.
Staff are expected to return to their jobs on July 1, the day currently pegged by the MFA for reopening. With a capricious pandemic yet to reach its height, Frascona conceded that the date could be revised depending on the arc of the crisis. Earlier this week, the museum announced it was canceling all ticketed programs and events through Aug. 31.