The lights inside the Martha’s Vineyard Museum on Friday morning were dark. The property had a certain serenity about it, missing the usual crowds of daytime visitors.

It is opening day at the museum, but the fanfare will have to wait.

The museum reopened its grounds to the public on Friday for the first time since the pandemic hit, but the organization is in no rush to welcome visitors inside the building even as Phase 3 of the state’s reopening plan begins, which allows for museums to open up completely. The organization is also postponing any celebrations, including the dedication of the Rose Styron Gardens, until later in the summer.

“We didn’t really feel like we needed to be trailblazing and we didn’t need to be like the first museum in Massachusetts to reopen,” said Katy Fuller, director of operations and business development. “I certainly miss having a lot of the people we normally see every summer but we’re happy to just open when we feel ready.”

Rose Styron gardens have been completed but dedication celebration will wait for a later date. — Mark Alan Lovewell

But the museum will still engage with its visitors.

Since closing its doors in March, coincidentally on the one-year anniversary of its grand opening, the museum has created a variety of online programs, including Facebook Live collection walk-throughs, weekly Pecha Kutcha programs and at-home lessons for interested students.

When restrictions were lifted on hosting outside exhibits, the staff got creative, working to develop socially-distant exhibition space. A series called the Inside-Out Museum, which utilizes the building’s historic glass walls to display work from inside to viewers out on the lawn, is scheduled for this summer.

“One of the really cool things about our building is that it still has the original windows from 1895 when the marine hospital was built and they’re so big,” said Ms. Fuller. “We thought we could put things up in the windows.”

The series will include installations focusing on current events. Randi Baird’s photography series of pandemic frontline workers, entitled Everyday Heroes, will highlight the role that frontline workers played in keeping communities afloat. Jackie Baer has created a set of drawings she completed while recovering from the virus.

Vitoria Krasa and Lea Kaeka are ready to help visitors. — Mark Alan Lovewell

The Inside-Out Museum will include work that deals with themes of social justice and activism. The museum plans to display an Island iteration of Michele Norris’ The Race Card Project, featuring a collection of six-word observations about race written by Island high schoolers.

The museum’s is also at work on a new initiative, called History in the Making, aimed at recording the events of recent months.

“When the pandemic first hit, lots of people reached out to us asking what the Island did during the Spanish Flu pandemic and we really didn’t have much information,” said Ms. Fuller. “We wanted to change that for future generations who will ask what happened in the 2020 pandemic.”

The museum is now accepting submissions from the community for the exhibit, including everyday objects and artifacts—from iPhone photos to scraps of paper.

In addition to the exhibitions, the museum’s docents will head outdoors as well. Beginning July 7, the docents will run guided tours of the campus grounds, twice a day from Tuesday to Sunday. In keeping with health guidelines, the tours will be limited to 10 people and participants will need to sign up in advance.

Ms. Fuller said the grounds also have new spray-painted social distancing circles so that people can continue to visit the front lawn to relax while enjoying the view of Vineyard Haven harbor.

“This whole situation is taking huge mental toll on a lot of people,” she said. “If we can help at all by offering people some intellectual stimulation and some history, then we certainly want to.”