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It is sad to see it happen, but it also doesn't make cents (pun intended) for such institutions to keep operating at a loss. As stated in the article, revenues kept dropping year after year, as fewer and fewer patrons voluntarily paid the admission price and enjoyed the many joys of the museum, courtesy of the public dole! If the tight fisted members of today's "me" generation want to go to the show, yes they should pay for the privilege of doing so! As that old saw tells us, "there ain't no free lunch!"
 

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The AIC did this a few years ago though I’m not sure locals get a break. They used to have a “recommended” admission fee but now it’s a hard fee.

I can’t blame them for doing it. Museums are expensive to maintain. I think they should charge admission for everyone.

I’ve been to th MMA. It’s a wonderful institution and should be supported by locals and visitors alike.
 

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It is sad to see it happen, but it also doesn't make cents (pun intended) for such institutions to keep operating at a loss. As stated in the article, revenues kept dropping year after year, as fewer and fewer patrons voluntarily paid the admission price and enjoyed the many joys of the museum, courtesy of the public dole! If the tight fisted members of today's "me" generation want to go to the show, yes they should pay for the privilege of doing so! As that old saw tells us, "there ain't no free lunch!"
I didn't see any evidence in the article that the change is a generational one-- in fact the museum's overall revenue from admissions has increased almost 50% since 2009 (~$29MM to $43MM). But with higher traffic, the percentages have dropped off, which indicates that the museum is drawing more visitors that can't (or won't) pay the $25/head sticker price that the 73% decrease refers to.

During that same period, funding from the city of New York remained dead flat at $28MM. Interestingly enough, a ~50% increase over this period in funding from NYC would cover the expected revenue from charging tourists and then some. Even keeping pace with inflation would have made up a serious portion of it.

Seems like straight nativist behavior to me, and I agree with the author's assessment that this action diminishes the preeminence of the museum. But more importantly, the visitors that can't or won't pay the full admission are exactly the type that a prestigious art institution should be courting-- bring the visitors in however you can, in the hopes of increasing their appreciation and more visits and donations down the line!

Source for revenue figures, under "Report of the Chief Financial Officer":
https://www.metmuseum.org/about-the-met/policies-and-documents/annual-reports
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
My personal take is that these new "for a fee" situations further erode our democracy separating almost every interaction with art, culture and government into those who can and are willing to pay for access and those who can't or won't. Institutions founded for the public good such as museums, schools, libraries, hospitals...these should be funded by tax money or donations for the good of all society.

If "the masses" are excluded from access due to price point, the institutions become further separated from day to day society and the perception that they are bastions of the elite is perpetuated. Viewing culture as a luxury item is a dark path.

Should the Smithsonian start charging admission fees?
 

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There are other museums in NYC as there are others in Chicago. Many are free or charge a nominal fee ($5). The Lincoln Park zoo is still free admission. Donations accepted.

My wife and I are AIC members. I think it costs $130/yr. That’s roughly $10 a month. The notion that someone cannot pay $10/month to be members of a civic institution they value strikes me as absurd.

If people value it, then let them pony up and pay for the privilege.

Most of these institutions have free admission days as well as student and senior discounts further expanding their availability to the masses. Let people make that choice instead of taxing everyone. People appreciate something more when they pay for it.

If $10/month is too much and you’re so financially pressed, then I would suggest that your problems go beyond not having access to a museum. Get your life straightened out and come calling when you’ve got it together.
 

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My personal take is that these new "for a fee" situations further erode our democracy separating almost every interaction with art, culture and government into those who can and are willing to pay for access and those who can't or won't. Institutions founded for the public good such as museums, schools, libraries, hospitals...these should be funded by tax money or donations for the good of all society.

If "the masses" are excluded from access due to price point, the institutions become further separated from day to day society and the perception that they are bastions of the elite is perpetuated. Viewing culture as a luxury item is a dark path.

Should the Smithsonian start charging admission fees?
Looking back on concerts, professional and collegiate sports events and a litany of other activities I've attended or engaged in over the past decade or so, and reflecting on the attendees/participants I've seen at such events, it seems to me that a great number of people patronize those activities that are important to them and at prices much greater than those to be incurred for touring a museum. People seem to pay for what is more important to them and if it's not a museum, so be it! "Should the Smithsonian start charging admission fees," I've taken the time to visit one or more of the Smithsonian's attractions almost every time I've visited DC and would certainly pay such (suggested) fees to continue that practice, should such fees become a fact of life at some point in the future. I've also visited Arlington on a surprising number of occasions and hope that one day that will be my final resting place assuming that I have already paid the price, but hey...who knows? Times change and we must deal with that reality. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I suppose that times do change and we must bend to reality. My main beef with MMA is that it has been a horribly managed institution the last few years and this fee system seems to be a means to squeeze a few additional coppers to help stem the hemorrhaging.

Curious. What is your favorite art museum and/or the best you have visited in your estimation?

My favorite museum space is Whistlers Peacock Room in the Freer Gallery in DC. An absolutely stunning interior. I make it a point to visit every time I am in Washington for work.

Cheers,

BSR
 

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There are other museums in NYC as there are others in Chicago. Many are free or charge a nominal fee ($5). The Lincoln Park zoo is still free admission. Donations accepted.

My wife and I are AIC members. I think it costs $130/yr. That's roughly $10 a month. The notion that someone cannot pay $10/month to be members of a civic institution they value strikes me as absurd.

If people value it, then let them pony up and pay for the privilege.

Most of these institutions have free admission days as well as student and senior discounts further expanding their availability to the masses. Let people make that choice instead of taxing everyone. People appreciate something more when they pay for it.

If $10/month is too much and you're so financially pressed, then I would suggest that your problems go beyond not having access to a museum. Get your life straightened out and come calling when you've got it together.
This reasoning sounds wonderful, except that I think it pushes some people to stay in poverty and a continuation of the next generation to stay in poverty because they see a future of hopelessness.
 

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The Met is a delight. I thoroughly enjoyed my visit, spending time primarily in the Egyptian and also classical sculpture exhibitions.

Museums, libraries and galleries were amongst my regular haunts as a nipper and the ability to access these premises without charge certainly informed this frequency.

I am opposed to the economic segregation of history and culture.
 

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I suppose that times do change and we must bend to reality. My main beef with MMA is that it has been a horribly managed institution the last few years and this fee system seems to be a means to squeeze a few additional coppers to help stem the hemorrhaging.

Curious. What is your favorite art museum and/or the best you have visited in your estimation?

My favorite museum space is Whistlers Peacock Room in the Freer Gallery in DC. An absolutely stunning interior. I make it a point to visit every time I am in Washington for work.

Cheers,

BSR
I'm not sure I know enough about art or museum management to make any judgements regarding the management of same or that I can name an all time favorite (art) museum. Frankly, such assessments depend on where I happened to be assigned at the time and/or travels required by my work.

In D.C. I've visited several of the Smithsonian's exhibits, most frequently the Air and Space and Natural History locations and we have toured the National Gallery of Art (I think just once). I visited Boston's Museum of the Arts, as part of one of a couple of Federal Executive development programs hosted by Harvard University's School of Design and JFK School of Government, respectively. One took us to see the Museum of the Arts and the other included an evening with the "Blue Man Group." :crazy: On other assignments I've visited the Cleveland Museum of Art and Detroit's version of the same (I hate to admit, I can't remember the name over the front door of the Detroit facility). In my role as a civil servant I spent quite a few years working out of Chicago and hence probably visited the Chicago Art Institute more than any other art museum (five or six times, as I recall). We were paying admission there way back in the 1990's.

I know it is not an art museum, but, based on my frequency of attendance, I'd have to say The Air Force Museum on Wright Patterson AFB, outside of Dayton, OH, is my over all favorite and, belonging to the people of this great Nation of ours, it's still free! However, we do make regular donations. ;)
 

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In response to Mr Robinson's earlier enquiry as to a favourite museum: this is a tough call.

I have often enjoyed temporary exhibitions most of all, when a collection has been assembled for a limited event (ahh.. Caravaggio at the Tate or Magritte at the Tate Liverpool) which are not entirely reflective of the general qualities of the hosting institute.

This said, I have been most overwhelmed with emotion at NASA Houston, blubbering like a little girl as I walked alongside the Saturn V launcher and beheld that magnificent array of engines.

A notable mention also to the NASM at Dulles - gazing up at the open bomb bay of the Enola Gay with a thrilling shiver and especially lingering about the spectacular SR-71 Blackbird, an object of such sublime and intoxicating beauty that it is not possible to decide from which angle its glorious aspect is most admirably revealed.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
In response to Mr Robinson's earlier enquiry as to a favourite museum: this is a tough call.

I have often enjoyed temporary exhibitions most of all, when a collection has been assembled for a limited event (ahh.. Caravaggio at the Tate or Magritte at the Tate Liverpool) which are not entirely reflective of the general qualities of the hosting institute.

This said, I have been most overwhelmed with emotion at NASA Houston, blubbering like a little girl as I walked alongside the Saturn V launcher and beheld that magnificent array of engines.

A notable mention also to the NASM at Dulles - gazing up at the open bomb bay of the Enola Gay with a thrilling shiver and especially lingering about the spectacular SR-71 Blackbird, an object of such sublime and intoxicating beauty that it is not possible to decide from which angle its glorious aspect is most admirably revealed.
Agreed on the Blackbird. I saw one at the Warner Robbins Air Museum a few years ago and was completely in awe. That is one sexy bird. A well designed airframe should look fast standing still. The SR-71 and the F-106 Delta Dart (The Sexy 6) are two real beauties.

Cheers,

BSR
 

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So many states have sells taxes. The poor pay these. Some of that money goes to museums. For the poor to pay and then not be able to enjoy! Free museums.

Some places the parking cost a fortune. And if you are a little late the citation cost five times more.
 

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I admit to being a thorough going museum junky. In fact, I am giving serious consideration to going through docent training at both the Portland Art and the Oregon Historical Society. Having degrees in both History and Art and decades of classroom experience, it seems silly not to.
 
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