Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Role of Museums

Mery Lynn McCorkle has posted a thoughtful essay at Zero Degrees Art on the practice of charging admittance to museums and the changing role of museums in society - are they for entertainment or education? See her Travelouge 33. This is an increasingly controversial issue, with institutions like MoMA now charging $20 and the LA County Museum basically renting their space for a blockbuster exhibition by a private company. Tyler Green of Modern Art Notes has written about the LACMA issue better than I ever could.

Of course, I work for the Smithsonian, which is free, so I'm a bit biased about this. I know museums are struggling for funding, whether they are publicly or privately financed (or a bit of both, in many cases); but when does the admittance price become a hindrance to even middle class visitors? Bringing a family of five to MoMA now sets you back $100, unless you go on the free night (four hours on Fridays) which in my experience is ridiculously crowded.


At 10:00 AM, Blogger Tyler said...

First, thanks.

Cities, counties and states that fail to fund their local arts institutions are thoroughly short-sighted. Wanna see an example of the impact arts can have on a community, its tax revenues and its property values? Check out Marfa, Texas.

At 12:30 PM, Blogger Amy said...

I'm only vaguely familiar with Marfa - this is where the Chinati Foundation is located, right?

At 2:49 PM, Blogger Tyler said...

Yup! (The Judd Foundation is HQ'd there too, and has limited tours of Judd's various buildings available to the public, too.)


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