Re: Galleries & Museums in New York City - Photography
Here's why the it's a donation versus a fee.
The suggested-donation policy is a requirement of being part of what is
called the Cultural Institutions Group, a group of 34 New York
City-owned institutions that also includes the American Museum of
Natural History, the Brooklyn Academy of Music, the Brooklyn Museum, and
the Bronx Zoo. As part of the same deal, the city provides 11% of the
Met's total budget, according the Department of Cultural Affairs. In the
last fiscal year, this came to about $24,598,000, an amount that
contributed to general operating costs, as well as paying for heat,
light, and power.
Judy Seigel wrote:
What Dave Soemarko says about "donation," etc., seems quite plausible
-- given the kind of "logic" we can expect from gummint, though these
things can also reshape themselves over time. Maybe some day a
journalism professor will assign a project to dig out the definitive
Meanwhile, Doug's comment below starts another train of thought --
maybe the optional part for the Met and the Brooklyn Museum is because
they are recipients of city funds that the others are not. (Remember
when Mayor Rudy Giuliani tried to cut off funding for the Brooklyn
Museum because its show of enfants terribles from England included
Chris Offili's Virgin Mary supported on feet of gold-wrapped "elephant
dung" ? ... [can I say I hope he gets the Republican nomination
without getting put off the list? OK, probably not, fuggedaboud it])....
Maybe the "optional" entry fee is so, with all that public money, they
wouldn't be called elitist? (And/or the folks I heard from about their
admission experience were suffering from liberal guilt.)
I will add, BTW, lest I discourage folks from joining the Met, that
"membership" includes 4 issues/year of the Metropolitan Museum of Art
Bulletin (about new acquisitions, & other special themes), beautifully
illustrated in color, with essays by the curators et al, -- worth the
membership price on their own (assuming one has time to read them).
On Wed, 15 Aug 2007, Doug Wade wrote:
When I was there about a year ago the suggested donation had just
gone up to
$20. I guess since it's owned by the city they can't charge an explicit
admission. We arrived rather late in the day and knew we wouldn't be
to see a great deal, handed them a $20 and said "two, please" and got
guff from the ticket lady.