When a small group of people began arriving at the Wheelwright Museum of the American Indian on Tuesday, it was a modest but hopeful sign a sense of normalcy had returned.

“We had people signing up for hour-and-a-half slots during the day so we don’t get too many people at any one time,” Jean Higgins, the museum’s interim director, said of the Wheelwright’s return. “We’ve had people from a lot of different states already, but it’s still pretty quiet. We expect that will build over time, and we’re delighted to be reopened.”

New Mexico’s museums — emptied for months during the coronavirus pandemic — are happy for guests to return, even at reduced numbers. Perhaps even more than ticket revenue, they say, visitors are what a museum is all about.

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