The Metropolitan Museum (image via

The Metropolitan Museum is raising its suggested admission prices for adults from $20 to $25, reports the New York Times. Good thing we’ll still be paying the ticket price with whatever change we have in our back pockets.

“The suggested price for senior citizens will rise to $17, from $15, and the price for students to $12 from $10. The museum will continue to be free for children under the age of 12 and to student groups from New York City schools,” the article notes.

Anyone freaking out about the admissions increase should remember that these prices are entirely voluntary, they are suggested donations to the museum rather than the strict cost of a ticket. You can totally pay nothing if you want! But the price increase also suggests heightened financial pressure on the museum

Tyler Green adds that the increase isn’t just compensating for inflation: “Since 2006, inflation in the U.S. has run about 10 percent. At the Metropolitan, admission has increased 25 percent over that same term.” Over time, though, the museum’s operating budget has declined and the city has cut its annual contributions.

Still, Green is staunchly against the increase: “The Metropolitan is leading in the wrong direction. Instead of increasing access to its collections, it is sending the message that it’s OK to price out the middle class.” Jane Kaplowitz, a Manhattan artist and teacher, doesn’t like it either: “Working class people are so intimidated by the museum experience anyway, they don’t feel they can just give a quarter. It’s really unfair,” she told Carol Vogel in another Times article.

Just ask yourself: can you look that Metropolitan ticket counter staff member straight in the eye and still pay with a dollar? I sure can.


  • The Boston Museum of Fine Arts has just increased its mandatory ticket prices in a move I find more depressing than the Met news. Adult admission is going from $20 to $22. Seniors and students 18 and older will now pay $20 instead of $18, reports the Boston Globe. The Museum’s new Art of the Americas wing has just opened and other expansions are planned. But how much of the cost can visitors bear?

Kyle Chayka was senior editor at Hyperallergic. He is a cultural critic based in Brooklyn and has contributed to publications including ARTINFO, ARTnews, Modern Painters, LA Weekly, Kill Screen, Creators...