Trump Wins Even at the Metropolitan Museum of Art
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My impression of a trip to New York City is that it can be a lot of fun if you don’t mind handing somebody a $20 bill every ten or twelve minutes. For example, the Metropolitan Museum of Art suggests that you pay $25 per adult for admission, although you can pay less if you feel justified.

A lot of tourist attractions have split prices, higher for tourists, lower for locals. The thinking is that you can extract more money from tourists who visit only once a decade or so, while locals are more price sensitive. Typically, they make you show a local driver’s license to get the lower price.

So, the Met Museum now is going to a system where tourists must pay the posted price, while locals can still pay as they feel, but they will have to prove they are a local by showing ID.

But showing ID means, oh no … TRUMP WINS.

From the New York Times:

The Met Should Be Open to All. The New Pay Policy Is a Mistake.


The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new admission policy beginning in March will end pay-as-you-wish for out-of-state visitors, for the first time since 1970 — and residents of New York State will need to show some form of identification. The two chief art critics of The New York Times weighed in on the significance of these changes.

COTTER Given the fiscal realities the Met is dealing with at this point, whoever is to blame — the Met points to the precipitous 73 percent drop in visitors paying the full “suggested” amount — the new, graduated admission policy doesn’t strike me, purely in dollars-and-cents terms, as completely outrageous, particularly as a full price ticket is good for three days of admission to the three Met branches.

My big problem lies elsewhere. I’m instinctively suspicious of, and resistant to, “carding” procedures, meaning any admission policy based on presenting personal identification, which is what the Met is asking for from New York State residents who want to keep paying what they wish.

This potentially discriminates against a population of residents who either don’t have legal identification or are reluctant to show the identification they have. And it plays directly into the hands of the anti-immigrant sentiment that is now poisoning this country. …

Everybody knows that the Undocumented can’t get enough of high culture. Same is true for guys who don’t like to show ID because they are holed up from the law because of all the warrants out for their arrest. There is nothing New York’s on-the-lam class has looked forward to more than the Met’s current “Leonardo to Matisse” exhibition of drawings from the Robert Lehman collection.
SMITH … So I worry that the Met’s plan is classist, and nativist. It divides people into categories — rich and poor, native and foreign — which is exactly what this country does not need right now.

COTTER In the pre-integration 1950s and early 1960s, the Birmingham Museum of Art in Alabama admitted black visitors only on Tuesdays.

Also, did you know about FDR’s redlining? It’s incredibly relevant to 2018.
SMITH … It indicates a kind of attitude, like having the Statue of Liberty in our harbor. It is, symbolically speaking, a beacon.
Nothing shows the refined political tastes of the NYT’s art critics more than ending with a schmaltzy invocation of the Statue of Liberty.

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