Metropolitan Museum of Art is sued over ‘recommended’ admission

A view of the Greek and Roman classical art galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
A view of the Greek and Roman classical art galleries at the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.
(Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times)
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The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York is being sued over its “recommended” entrance fee of $25. A group of plaintiffs claims that most visitors have no idea that you can get into the museum for free and that paying the $25 is optional.

The lawsuit’s plaintiffs include two Czech tourists and a museum member, according to a Reuters report. They are arguing that the museum uses misleading signs and other methods to make visitors believe that they must pay to gain admission.

A similar suit was filed against the museum late last year by two museum members who have argued that the museum’s signage is misleading to the public.


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The $25 recommended admission price applies to adults. Seniors who are 65 years and older have a recommended admission price of $17. Children under 12 can enter free when accompanied by an adult.

Under an agreement with New York City, admission to the museum must be free to the public on multiple days of the week.

A spokesman for the museum told Reuters that it is “confident that our longstanding pay-what-you-wish admissions policy meets the spirit and letter of our agreement with the city.”

In 2011, the museum raised its recommended admission by $5 to $25.

The museum said at the time that it “faces a number of daunting, ongoing budgetary challenges” and that “income from our endowment has flattened, the average visitor contribution at the door is lower, and public sector operating support has fallen.”

Admission prices to art museums around the country vary widely, though many charge more than the price of a movie ticket.


New York’s Museum of Modern Art charges $25 for one adult admission, which is not optional. The Los Angeles County Museum of Art charges $15 for adults 18 and over; that amount also not optional.

The Dallas Museum of Art recently dropped its $10 general admission fee and allows visitors to enter for free, though certain special exhibitions require a separate paid admission.


Dallas Museum of Art drops admission fee

Metropolitan Museum of Art hikes recommended admission to $25

Major museums in Southern California move to double-digit fees for getting inside