August 30, 2009
Americans Continue to Charge a High Dime for Art & Museums
While the de Young may be a distant cousin to the others, some really great exhibits come in and out of its doors. King Tut returns: Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs is currently in play.
The story is an interesting one....3,000 years later, you can take a look through 130 outstanding works from the tomb of Tutankhamun, as well as those of his royal predecessors, his family, and court officials.
A thing that always astounds me (and annoys me) about the states: nowhere else in the world (can't speak to Tokyo since it's the only expensive city I don't have first hand experience with), that charges what it does for art, culture and museums.
Exhibit tickets here are pricey even by American standards: $32.50 a pop excluding the rest of the museum. There were more than a few people who expected to see Tut himself, so remove that expectation before you walk through the doors.
In Europe, the thinking is this: art and culture is so important that we want to make sure anyone and everyone can afford to experience it. We'll subsidize this to encourage attendance and encourage it often.
Because it's so reasonable in other countries and the price isn't a consideration, you may find yourself going back as often as you do a coffee shop or the library.
What don't we value this? Don't answer, I already know why but it's a sad excuse.
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I'm not sure there is that much difference. A 'normal' special exhibition here in the British Museums costs about £10 to access, and in Belgium I paid over 20 euros a few years back to see a massive exhibition about WWII.
Have these 'large scale' exhibitions not become more 'show' than 'culture and art'? And should the government not sponsor local art and culture initiatives rather than those organised by the same company that is going to tour with Michael Jackson's memorials? :/
Posted by: Ann | Sep 1, 2009 2:21:42 AM
Hello from the de Young Museum,
Just to clarify your story, tickets to Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs do include admission to the de Young's permanent collection during the hours when the permanent collection is open. If it is closed, your ticket is good for three days on either side of your Tut date to come back to see the permanent collection for free. Your ticket also gives you free admission for three days to our other museum -- the Legion of Honor.
Also -- we have a special ticket price available on Tuesday and Wednesday evenings - $20 per adult ticket as part of Tut at Twilight. Finally, our museum is free to the public on the first Tuesday of every month -- today, in fact.
Hope this helps. Check our website for more information:
Posted by: Jill | Sep 1, 2009 8:27:16 AM
Thanks for the clarifications Jill. Appreciate it. My point here is a broader one however - it's about how we value culture and art in the states versus Europe and elsewhere in the world.
As a culture, Americans don't push us kicking and screaming into it by making it easy, fun, free or low cost. In Europe, the culture makes you WANT to choose cultural activities rather than go to the movie theatre or another non-engaging event.
Posted by: Renee Blodgett | Sep 2, 2009 3:29:52 PM