The Barbican today announced it will reopen its Art Gallery and Conservatory on Monday 13 July 2020 followed by The Curve on Tuesday 11 August 2020. In line with government guidelines, new safety measures will be in place including operating at reduced capacity, timed entry slots to ensure a safe flow of visitors through the space, and tickets needing to be booked online at in advance of a visit.

The reopening programme includes critically acclaimed exhibition Masculinities: Liberation through Photography; epic new installation A Countervailing Theory by artist Toyin Ojih Odutola; and the chance to explore the Barbican Conservatory.

Barbican Art Gallery

Barbican Art Gallery will welcome visitors back to Masculinities: Liberation through Photography from Monday 13 July 2020. Featuring striking photography and film from the 1960s to the present day, the group show explores the ways in which masculinity is experienced, performed, coded and socially constructed. Having previously opened for just four weeks before the Barbican temporarily closed in March, the show’s run has been extended until 23 August 2020.

The Curve

A Countervailing Theory, the first-ever UK commission from Toyin Ojih Odutola, will open for the first time in The Curve on Tuesday 11 August. An epic cycle of new work explores an imagined ancient myth conceived by the artist, unfurling across the 90-metre long gallery and featuring an immersive soundscape by sound artist Peter Adjaye. This free exhibition invites visitors to experience Ojih Odutola’s compelling mode of storytelling.

Barbican Conservatory

The Barbican Conservatory is home to more than 1,500 species of tropical plants and trees, and three indoor ponds for exotic fish and terrapins. For the first time, the Conservatory will be open to the public during the week – starting from Monday 13 July 2020 and running throughout summer. There will be no entrance charge to visit the space but tickets will need to be booked in advance. Also opening in late July, is the Barbican Library, which is managed by the City of London Corporation. Details of when the Barbican’s other venues and public spaces will reopen will be announced in due course. Venue hire will also resume in the future, in accordance with government guidance.

Sir Nicholas Kenyon, Managing Director of the Barbican said: ‘We are delighted to invite you back to the Barbican to start to enjoy culture and creativity together again. The safety of our audiences and staff remains our top priority and you’ll find detailed information on our website to help you feel confident about your visit here. We want to make it as easy as possible for people to return, but we know that not everyone will be able to join us in person, so we will continue to make thought-provoking digital content – including video tours of both our Masculinities and A Countervailing Theory exhibitions – freely available soon via our website. On behalf of everyone at the Barbican, we look forward to welcoming you back.’

Jane Alison, Head of Visual Arts, Barbican, said: ‘It’s so brilliant to have the opportunity to reopen our Masculinities: Liberation through Photography exhibition, which had met with such acclaim earlier in the year. Now is your chance! Opening in August, we also invite you to experience Toyin Ojih Odutola’s epic cycle of works. This stunning project was almost ready to open just as lockdown happened – and again, I couldn’t be more delighted that we are finally able to introduce Ojih Odutola’s work to a London audience as part of our free programme of Curve artist commissions.’ 

Safety measures in place when the Barbican reopens will include social distancing, limited visitor capacity, one-way routes through the building, sanitisation points and regular cleaning. Access to all venues will be via the main entrance on Silk Street with lifts available for those who need them. The Barbican is encouraging people to walk or cycle to the Centre and is installing additional cycle parking points to make this easier. For those who will be travelling by public transport, adjusted opening times of both our Art Gallery and Conservatory have been introduced so that people are able to avoid the busiest travel times. The Barbican’s restaurants, bars, cafes, main shop and cloakroom facilities will remain closed during this phase but there will be takeaway refreshments and a pop-up Art Gallery shop on the Conservatory Terrace on Level 4, as well as toilet facilities available. Detailed visitor information will be available on the Barbican’s website at

To support the Barbican in reopening and offering the widest possible audience access to culture and creativity, donations can be made at

Programme and ticketing information

Visitor information can be found on the Barbican’s website.