The Columbia Museum of Art and EdVenture announced Monday that they will close because of the coronavirus outbreak. Tuesday, the South Carolina State Museum joined them.
The CMA closing includes the Main Street gift shop and museum events and will extend at least to March 31.
"The museum will continue to monitor developments and take cues from leading health authorities," the website for the museum says.
The closing comes in the middle of an attention-getting exhibit, It’s Alive! Classic Horror and Sci-Fi Art from the Kirk Hammett Collection. The exhibit includes specially decorated guitars with classic movie monsters and other horror memorabilia. The Metallica guitarist has visited Columbia as part of the event, showing off the items and why he loves them. It's Alive is scheduled to run until May 17.
EdVenture announced that it will close all three of its locations — in the Vista, Hartsville and Myrtle Beach — beginning Tuesday.
The children's museum will offer educational activities for families to participate in while at home through its website and social media, according to its statement.
"This has been a very difficult decision but one we feel is in the best interest of public health," EdVenture's statement added.
The State Museum is closed to the public until further notice, with all upcoming museum programs, events and rentals canceled through April 5. Like EdVenture, it will look to offer assets that patrons can take advantage of remotely.
"During this time, the State Museum will remain committed to its mission to provide educational environments that entertain and inspire imagination," the March 17 release states. "Museum staff are currently developing engaging educational content to share online with students and families to ensure our resources can continue to be available to South Carolinians even though our doors are closed."
Riverbanks Zoo and Gardens already announced plans to close through the end of the month, the same period as public school closings order by Gov. Henry McMaster.
The four attractions — the art, children's and state museums along with the the zoo — are among Columbia's most popular. Also closing are Richland Library branches and city parks.
Jordan Lawrence contributed to this report.