Monday, June 20th, 2011
One of my earliest memories is of going to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and the American Museum of Natural History with my sister. I was too young to have been aware of entrance fees; however our allowances were modest so I trust they weren’t exorbitant.
I was glad to note that both these museums have suggested fees–rather than a hard and fast ticket price–in a list posted in The New York Times on the occasion of the Met’s raising its suggestion to $25. The Natural History Museum hopes for $16. Along with the Brooklyn Museum [$10], they are the only ones that offer the option of paying what you want/can among the 15 most expensive on the list of 23. To get in to the others, from the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum, $24, to the Museum of the Moving Image, $10, you must pay. The last seven also suggest you pay, from the Museum of the City of New York [$10] to the Staten Island Museum [$3].
However I believe that there are many without the ability to pay who would be discouraged from going. [I also fear that those with ample incomes who relentlessly squeeze everyone and everything around them will pay $1 and not blink.]
In any case, someone has to pay for upkeep, security and adding to the collections of these venerable institutions. Visiting a museum isn’t as crucial as healthcare, food and shelter. What to do? Where to give? What to give up?