06/28/2013 12:11 pm ET Updated Jun 28, 2013

Met Buttons No More: New York Museum Gets Rid Of Iconic Badge Of Patronage (PHOTO)


Today marks the end of an era, dear readers. New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art has decided to do away with its iconic button system, replacing the brightly colored badges of art honor with the most reviled of accessories... the sticker.

That's right, the small metal buttons -- the one that tourists proudly wear for days on end during their seasonal visits to the Big Apple -- are going the way of the Dodo. No longer will you be able to horde all 16 rainbow shades of the small metal signage, emblazoned with the perfect Leonardo da Vinci "M," allowing you to stroll past the museum guards without paying the (suggested, we know, we know) $25 fee. Instead you'll have to put up with the hideous adhesive after effects of wearing a sticky piece of paper on your lapel.

So why is the Met saying goodbye to the buttons after 42 years of service? “We realize, without sounding crass, that it’s a beloved brand and a beloved symbol,” Harold Holzer, the Met's senior vice president for public affairs, explained to The New York Times. “It just became too expensive."

Holzer cited the rising cost of metal as an explanation for the decision, noting that it became difficult to find manufacturers willing to offer a competitive price. From 2011 until 2012, the Met reported record numbers for attendance -- in fact, at 6.28 million visitors, it was the highest attendance number since the institute began tracking visitors over four decades ago. Alas, the stellar performance wasn't enough to save the buttons.

We'll have to wait to see what the Met's 2012-2013 visitor record looks like. Until then, please join us in a moment of silence for the Met buttons. Perhaps we can look forward to some more clever button-inspired works of art? We're looking at you, Ji Eon Kang.

See some reactions to the news below:

Correction: In an earlier version of this article, we misattributed a quote. It was by Harold Holzer, not Thomas Campbell. We regret the error.



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