High Art Fetches High Admission Price

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June 3, 2011; Source: Los Angeles Times | There's lots of reasons to recommend a visit to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. But come July 1, the museum's new admission price may be one of the least recommended reasons to visit. The new admission — which itself is only "recommended," meaning visitors can opt to pay less — increases to $25 from $20.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the Met said it was forced to boost its admission price because of "a number of daunting, ongoing budgetary challenges" it faces, plus the fact that endowment income "has flattened, the average visitor contribution at the door is lower, and public sector operating support has fallen."

While the higher entrance fee only applies to adults, some pain will be shared with seniors and students, who similarly will see their recommended fees rise to $17 and $12 respectively, from $15 and $10. The only winners are children under 12; for them admission is still free.

Curious how the Met's fees compare with other major U.S. art museums? The Los Angeles Times has assembled a list, which shows admission fees ranging from free at some institutions to what had been a previous high that the Museum of Modern Art shared with the Met before its price increase was announced. —Bruce Trachtenberg