If something makes headlines simply for the amount of money that was spent on it, do we appreciate the thing as itself - a work of art, a novel - or do we look at it only in terms of how much money it cost?
The initial segment of the exhibit displays tons of gold jewelry found at ancient burial sites of Kings & Queens in Silla's capital city, Gyeongju. Further into the exhibition are larger-scale items that were created after the adoption of the Buddhist religion.
When I went to the Met as a Columbia undergraduate, I skirted around the fee since the college had bought membership for its students. As an art lover, I am now happy to pay for my visits -- I would hate for the Met to crumble like the beloved New York City Opera -- but I'm not sure everyone is.
The experience of being moved to tears by art is not entirely foreign to me. I will tell you, in all honesty, that I can feel a van Gogh in the room. His art exudes an emotional quality, at times a frenzied desperation.
We call on the Metropolitan Museum to commit to clear and unambiguous signage (in big letters) informing all visitors that its fee of $25 is only recommended and that any monetary contribution will be acceptable for admission.
There's nothing like a relaxing afternoon spent basking in the glory of world-famous paintings and sculptures -- not to mention picking up a keepsake in the museum shop. Here, our favorite collections of art, and suggestions for must-see masterpieces and gift-shop grabs.