New Mandatory Admission Fee to This Museum in New York in March of 2018

Residents of the state of New York do not need to be concerned about being required to pay an admission fee in the foreseeable future in order to visit the Metropolitan Museum of Art; but as of Thursday, March 1, 2018, most other visitors to the vaunted institution will be required to pay a fee of $25.00 just to enter the building.

New Mandatory Admission Fee to This Museum in New York in March of 2018

Over the past 47 years, the policy for visitors was simply to “pay as you wish” in the form of an optional donation — a policy which will continue for residents of the state of New York and students from New Jersey and Connecticut; and children younger than the age of 12 will continue to be admitted to the museum free of charge.

An admission fee of $25.00 will be imposed on most other visitors to the museum in order to for it to sustain its mission for future generations. That mission is to establish and maintain a museum and library of art, of encouraging and developing the study of the fine arts, and the application of arts to manufacture and practical life, of advancing the general knowledge of kindred subjects, and, to that end, of furnishing popular instruction; as well as to collect, study, conserve, and present significant works of art across all times and cultures in order to connect people to creativity, knowledge, and ideas — as well as to remain an accessible source of inspiration to all.

The good news is that the fee of $25.00 will be honored for three consecutive days; and it will be valid at all three locations of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

The new admission policy for the museum — which is expected to affect approximately 31 percent of the number of visitors per year — first required permission from the city of New York because its location on Fifth Avenue is situated on public land. It resulted from close consultation with the New York City Department of Cultural Affairs, as the current admission policy — which had been in effect since 1970 — was long overdue for a review. A number of different scenarios were examined — including charging separate admissions for exhibitions; and offering free Fridays or other nights — but they were rejected for a variety of reasons.

“As we studied how best to update our policy, we were mindful that the Museum was founded in the 19th century primarily as an educational entity intended to teach and uplift the diverse populations of New York City”, according to this statement explaining the change in admission policy from Daniel H. Weiss, who is the president and chief executive officer of the Metropolitan Museum of Art. “We are still a vital community resource, and each year our educators reach more than 200,000 students. We take enormous pride in our leadership role within the city’s cultural landscape, and we are committed to remaining a welcoming place for all the constituent communities of New York.”

Experimentation with a variety of admissions policies has occurred at the museum since it was founded on Wednesday, April 13, 1870 — but the museum “is a profoundly different place from that envisioned by its founders. Decades ago The Met made a decision to expand its operations and outreach and to become the Museum that we know today: a cherished institution that is both the top tourist destination in New York City and a world-renowned center of scholarship and learning” and that “we have been enormously successful in service to that vision.” The number of visitors to the museum has increase by greater than 40 percent during the past eight years.

“What is clear is that our current pay-as-you-wish policy is no longer sufficient to meet the Museum’s daily operational demands”, Weiss said. “Paid admissions represent only 14 percent of our overall revenue, one of the lowest percentages among our New York City peers. Moreover, in the past 13 years the number of visitors who pay the full suggested admission has declined by 73 percent. We are now the only major museum in the world that relies exclusively on a pure pay-as-you-wish system or that does not receive the majority of its funding from the government.”

Summary

“With full-priced tickets now being honored for three consecutive days, we are hopeful that many out-of-state and international visitors will enjoy even more time in our galleries.”

I certainly hope that that statement is true, as $25.00 for an admission fee will clearly not fit into the budgets of all visitors. As one example, that means an admission fee of $100.00 for a family of four — all of whom are a minimum of 12 years of age…

…but if that means passing down to future generations “a strong and financially stable institution that is both a world-class center of excellence and a source of community pride”, then perhaps the change in admission policy is reasonable.

I have visited the Metropolitan Museum of Art — as well as the Cloisters, which offers spectacular views of the Hudson River — multiple times as a student in New York at both a special high school dedicated to art and at one of the top rated art colleges in the world; and I certainly want to see the museum continue to offer a superior experience to its visitors who appreciate art.

In the meantime, if you are not a resident of the state of New York and you want to visit the museum prior to the implementation of the mandatory admission fee of $25.00, you need to do so either this month or next month.

Metropolitan Museum of Art
1000 Fifth Avenue
New York, New York 10028
212-535-7710

The Met Breuer
945 Madison Avenue
New York, New York 10021
212-731-1675

The Cloisters
99 Margaret Corbin Drive
Fort Tryon Park
New York, New York 10040
212-923-3700

Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art.

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