The Museum of Modern Art in New York City announced that it will raise ticket prices for adults from $20 to $25, beginning September 1st, making it the most expensive museum in the city.
While the Metropolitan Museum of Art also hiked suggested admission fees to $25 earlier this summer, museum-goers could conceivably pay less if they wished -- the price is suggested, but not required. The hike will make entrance to MoMA seven dollars more expensive than the next priciest museums in NYC -- the Whitney, which asks $18 dollars for entrance, and on the Upper East Side, both the Neue Gallerie and the Guggenheim charge $18. Further downtown, the New Museum asks for $12, while the Brooklyn Museum's tickets go for $10.
Prices will also rise for senior citizen and student tickets, to $18 and $14 respectively. Those under 16 may still attend for free. For art-lovers seeking a discount, ordering online will reduce prices to $22.50 for adults, $16 for senior citizens, and $12 for students. Friday nights from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. will still remain free, courtesy of Target.
MoMA last raised prices in 2004. Since then, "the Museum has faced escalating costs in virtually all aspects of operating the Museum," according to a press release.
"As a private, non-profit institution that does not seek government funding for general operations, MoMA depends to a significant extent on earned revenue," the release states. "These carefully considered increases in admission prices will help ensure that the Museum is able to maintain financial stability and a balanced budget."
Like many private museums in the country, MoMA receives only a small amount of support from the government, relying upon its endowment of over $600 million, ticket sales and membership fees to mitigate operating costs. According to a report by the American Association of Museums in 2007, 15 percent of revenue is derived from ticket sales at MoMA, compared to an average of 5 percent country-wide.
When in June, the Metropolitan Museum of Art revealed its plans to raise fees, museum director Thomas P. Campbell said in a statement that income off of the museum's endowment has flattened even as museum visitors have decreased the amount they donate at the door.
“Since the average cost to the museum of each visitor is $40 we believe it is fair, and above all necessary, to increase recommended admission levels at this time,” Campbell wrote of the decision.