NYC - The Met and Cloister's admission

Old Jan 13th, 2016, 10:05 AM
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Whenever this question comes around, as it does periodically, I think of my father. When the Met instituted an admission charge after being free for my father's whole life, he was incensed. He decided "pay what you wish" (a policy that used to be announced by a large sign but is now much harder to see if you don't know about it) meant a nickel. That is what he wanted to pay, so he would always pay a nickel.

I have adjusted the figure to account for inflation but in his honor I do not pay the suggested amount.
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Old Jan 13th, 2016, 05:26 PM
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The Met was built in Central Park and its rent free lease with the City requires that it maintain a pay what you wish policy. The admission price is a "suggested" amount.

For those with NYCID cards, the Met offers a free one year membership. Many libraries in Nassau County have free family passes for the Met that gives free admission.

Whether one chooses to become a member, or pay the full suggested amount or a lesser amount is up the individual.

Visitors may go to both the Cloisters and the Met on the same day with the same admission sticker. the pay what you wish policy applies to the Cloisters as well. It is also built in a city park.

If you rent an audio guide at the Met and want to go out of the museum and return later the same day, you can get another audio guide without paying another rental fee. Just return it on the first floor great hall audio guide desk, and tell them you want to return later and get a new guide, you will be given a stamped receipt that you will use to get your new guide.
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Old Jan 13th, 2016, 05:40 PM
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I can only chuckle at those who can afford more but pay little to experience one of the world''s greatest museums. If most people took that action, the museum probably wouldn't be able to stay open!
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Old Jan 14th, 2016, 03:27 AM
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Howard, I hope you aren't referring to my comments regarding people who like to go fairly often for an hour or two rather than a once a year all day visit deciding to pay less than $25 for a one hour visit each time or to attend a 45 minute lecture only. I could be wrong, but I don't think the $25 "suggested" admission takes things like that into account.

I do remember going a few times before I was a member when I wanted to see one specific thing. Which is better for the museum -- a person not going and experiencing something because he doesn't feel it's worth $25 just to see a couple of specific paintings or hear a brief lecture and he only has an hour to spare, or going in for a short time and giving them $10? Then doing it again a month or so later for something else? Not everything is black and white.
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Old Jan 14th, 2016, 04:22 AM
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No, no, Patrick, my comments were not aimed you, but to those over the years on the forum have almost worn it like a badge that they pay a mere fraction of the recommended amount. However, at the same time,Patrick, I think that spending $25 for an hour or two at the Met is a cheaper hourly entertainment/culture rate than spending over $100 for a theater experience that can last anywhere from only 90 minutes to 3 hours! Speaking strictly for myself, I am equally rewarded for both experiences. (PS: I am a member of the Met and I usually do not go more than 2 or 3 times a year. Further, I recognize that part of that membership fee is a donation, so I gladly pay the fee!)
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Old Jan 14th, 2016, 05:58 AM
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As long as there has been money and art there has been an unholy alliance between money and art. Money made the carbuncles disappear when royalty and the wealthy had their portraits painted and restrained artists creativity when balanced with the need to eat and have shelter.

According to NYC-ARTS, a PBS guide, The Met Museum has a permanent collection of upwards of 3,000,000 works. I am not sure how many are displayed at any given time but even if they had a gravel exhibition, it would a fraction of that. While I understand it is used for critical and well-considered research, much can be sold to sustain other efforts. On a personal level, when I see David Koch’s name associated with beauty and intellect, it makes me want to throw up, but the history of the museums have long been the purview of thieves and scoundrels and the wealthy who hope to create of aura of what they are not.

Artists, and that is a general term for people in all the arts, are wary of those who job it is to criticize, catalog, classify, and sell their work. Yet without them, more would toil in obscurity. It is a complicated and unhealthy relationship but one that is vital to the continuation and appreciation of the arts.

When my wife was small, her parents had little money, but always took their children to museums. All are artists by avocation or vocation. Today they could not afford to enter MoMA, but could visit the Met.

We had a young visitor from Spain and she spent 2 ½ hours in just nine rooms of the Met. Another time we took some other young out-of-town visitors to MoMA and when we explained some of the history, the detail and intention of the work, and a bit about the artists it became alive to them. Creativity is not linear nor explainable and it is impossible to know what strike a chord with a potential artist or collector.

So, maybe the poor should steal from the rich and allow stolen works to be paraded as they were properly obtained for the benefit of the majority.

Anyone who is in the arts, knows that people will try and beat you down on a price, because you are supposed to be survive on appreciation and admiration alone. I think the same mentality permeates many a museum goer.
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Old Jan 15th, 2016, 04:41 PM
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Isabel, I have just moved away from NYC, but in all the time I visited The Met, I understood it to include The Cloisters on the same day as your museum visit. I would just call them up. When I wasn't working, I did the "pay what you wish", but even then, not usually less than $10; it's a lot of museum. Or sometimes I would pay for headphones. If I am on my own, I enjoy the guided tours. For a while, it was easier for me to buy an online membership ($50) and it paid for itself.

BTW, The Met is the only major NYC museum I am aware of that always has a "pay what you wish" policy, vs. say The Frick, which is Sunday 1-4, or the Whitney or others that may be Thursday or Friday from 4-8.

If you end up visiting on the first weekend of the month, and you have a Bank of America card, check out their "Museums on Us" program, it includes The Met, The Whitney, and one of my faves Museum of Art & Design (MAD)
(be sure to have a picture id with you):
http://museums.bankofamerica.com/mobile.

Do report back!
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Old Jan 15th, 2016, 07:16 PM
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Other museums do have a pay what you wish policy at all times. According to the website linked below, these include the American Museum of Natural History, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Museum of the City of New York.

http://freemuseumday.org/nyc.html
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Old Jan 16th, 2016, 05:17 AM
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I didn't respond before this as I didn't want to get into the debate - I actually see very valid arguments on both sides of the issue.

I know the Met has always (at least my lifetime) had a pay as you wish policy, and that it included same day admission to the cloisters. What looked new to me, was the statement that it included same WEEK admission to the Cloisters. And in the past, (granted, it's been over a decade since I've been to the Cloisters) I was pretty sure I remembered that they did not have a pay as you wish policy. Maybe I'm wrong but that's how I remembered it. So I just didn't want to get stuck paying the full admission to the Met (which I intend to do) one day, and then going a couple days later to the Cloisters and having some ticket taker there say, no sorry it's not the same day and we don't have pay as you wish so fork over another $25. That's all I was trying to avoid.

Museums do frequently change their policies in this regard, and certainly their hours/days. For example, the Frick is now pay as you wish Sunday from 11-1, not 1-4.
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Old Jan 16th, 2016, 07:44 AM
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Isabel, why not just call the museum?
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