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Rail Paul

Met Museum NY to institute mandatory admission fee

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Good discussion.

 

I'll note that the research on which that article is based is from Britain. And that Britain and America have a different view of the role of art and "high" culture in public life than Continental Europe does. (One of the many reasons I don't know why the fuck I don't live in Continental Europe.)

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Good discussion.

 

I'll note that the research on which that article is based is from Britain. And that Britain and America have a different view of the role of art and "high" culture in public life than Continental Europe does. (One of the many reasons I don't know why the fuck I don't live in Continental Europe.)

That's a good article although a bit exhaustive. I respect the author for acknowledging that their original preconceptions weren't supported by the data.

 

That said, he occasionally falls into a hole. Here he speculates that the reason the poor don't visit museums that much isn't the "lack of time" cited in the research but because museums are hard to reach.

Now, all of the above being said, I think its crucial to recognize that none of the findings Ive cited so far necessarily rules out that ethnic and/or class differences may have heavily influenced the results. It may just be that those differences register at a deeper level than numbers alone can show.

 

To elaborate a little: It seems entirely possible, if not probable, that the reason lack of time and another major factor, lack of transportation, were cited as the most pressing barriers to museum entry is that people of color have been structurally undermined by generations of discriminatory economic and housing policies. (Its a lot tougher to get to museums, which are generally in very desirable areas of cities, when you or your ancestors have been systematically barred from renting in good neighborhoods, attending good schools, and getting good jobs for generations, for instance.)

 

That's just lazy thinking. Museums like the Met and the Brooklyn Museum, all of them in fact, are extremely easy to reach from poorer areas like the South Bronx, Harlem, and Bed Stuy. New York's mass transit system makes them very accessible.

 

A little checking shows that Tim Schneider, the author, is based in Los Angeles. He doesn't seem to understand how New York's mass transit system works. The editor of that article should have caught that error.

 

The question of why the urban poor in NYC aren't visiting our museums more often is an important one that deserves more critical thinking.

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The general topic of "the poor" might also overlook meaningful differences.

 

On visits to the Morgan Library, I've noticed diverse groups of kids with assignment sheets. Discussing various exhibits in the Library, and framing their thoughts. While it is likely their parents may not regularly visit the Morgan, the Met, MOMA, etc, I suspect children from poor families may visit more than is generally thought.

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I'm glad about that. I suspect school assignments have something to do with that but they may get hooked that way. I know I did.

 

(I see fewer kids because I tend to visit museums on Saturdays. I think the kids are more likely to go during the week.)

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IIRC, didn't Basquiet develop his passion for art this way? Early museum visits, I think with his mother?

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IIRC, didn't Basquiet develop his passion for art this way? Early museum visits, I think with his mother?

I believe so.

 

Whenever we are visiting museums in Europe, I'm quite pleased with the number of younger people I see; from kids up to mid-to-late teens, I'd say. Many certainly appear to be with either class groups, or another some such group. Often, some of them are sketching.

 

But back to the policy at the Met, my guess is that children's groups, no matter where they're from, are afforded a reasonable fee to visit.

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I'm glad about that. I suspect school assignments have something to do with that but they may get hooked that way. I know I did.

 

(I see fewer kids because I tend to visit museums on Saturdays. I think the kids are more likely to go during the week.)

 

I remember MoMA used to have tours for children and teens on Saturday morning (maybe still do), but probably before you would arrived. Used to take Philippa on them.

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About the Brooklyn Museum's accessibility to poor people in Brooklyn. It's funny that should come up, as a friend and I were just discussing it another context. It's true that the Museum is easily accessible to the poor neighborhoods that are near it. But, given that the evident mission in laying out the subway system was getting people from the outer boroughs into and out of Manhattan and not to other parts of their boroughs, the Museum is pretty inaccessible to poor Brooklyn neighborhoods (and indeed middle-class and wealthy neighborhoods) that aren't nearby (at least the ones not on the IRT: it's easy to get to the Museum from East New York, say). Bushwick may not be entirely poor any more, for example, but it's still largely so -- and just TRY to get to the Museum from there by subway.

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There are also those neighborhoods along the 2/3 line. The Museum is very convenient to Crown Heights, Ocean Hill/Brownsville, and East New York. Yes, it's hard to reach from Bushwick.

 

The Brooklyn Museum is the exception. As you mentioned the subways were designed to move people from the boroughs to Manhattan. Since just about all the other major museums are in Manhattan by definition they're relatively easy to reach. (i.e. less than an hour away.)

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I'm glad about that. I suspect school assignments have something to do with that but they may get hooked that way. I know I did.

 

(I see fewer kids because I tend to visit museums on Saturdays. I think the kids are more likely to go during the week.)

 

I remember MoMA used to have tours for children and teens on Saturday morning (maybe still do), but probably before you would arrived. Used to take Philippa on them.

 

 

The Met had great age appropriate tours, we did one with our then-four year old. The ones in Munich have really excellent programs, but most start at school age.

 

Regarding the bit in the article about representing different populations in exhibits, the infamous Fred Wilson Mining the Museum show at the Maryland Historical Society was life changing for me as a young naive idiot. I bet you could do that sort of thing in a lot of institutions.

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