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Benton Museum director prepares for opening day by Mick Rhodes in the Claremont Courier

In an alternate universe, Victoria Sancho Lobis would be celebrating right about now.

In January she was named director of Pomona College’s new Benton Museum, with the understanding that the $44 million facility would open in the fall.

“The project that I finished right before starting this position was an exhibition and publication of the same name at the Art Institute of Chicago, ‘Rubens, Rembrandt, and Drawing in the Golden Age,’” Ms. Lobis said. “It closed on January 5, 2020, and I started this job on January 6. So there’s a fluidity there, a kind of poetry to that.”

But that sonnet took on a tragic tone when the coronavirus pandemic swept across the United States in March. Now nine months later, the Benton’s opening plans are on hold, as nearly all non-essential businesses in California, including museums, have been ordered closed to inside patrons.