For anyone in the industry who has been frozen inside a block of ice since New Year’s, on Thursday the Met officially announced that it will begin charging mandatory admission to non-New York adults and non-Tri-State adolescents, effective March 1.
Adults in this cohort will be asked to pay $25. Seniors get a discount to $17. Students will pay $12, while children under age 12 continue to get into the museum free. The Met will remain “pay what you wish” for New Yorkers, on the condition that they provide an ID or other proof of residency. (For more context and detail, you can read Met president/CEO Daniel H. Weiss’s explanation for the decision and policy details here.)
The change immediately unleashed an army of critics, some of whom have been bracing for combat on this issue since the Met and the city clarified the museum’s right to charge suggested admission in October 2013. On Thursday, Roberta Smith and Holland Cotter at The New York Times led what felt like a nearly media-wide assault against the museum, with plenty of other well-respected figures joining the charge from under mastheads around the industry. (The Times’s editorial board was an exception.)