Over the course of two posts late last week and today, I’ve used recent data from the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to posit this question: At what point should an art museum make general admission free to the public?
For example, LACMA derives about three percent of its revenue from admissions fees. Is that such a small amount that they’d better fulfill their mission, serve their community — and maybe their bottom line too — by going free? Read part one here.
When MAN’s readers pointed out that museum membership programs — a significant source of revenue — might suffer if art museums went free, MAN asked four museums that once charged and then went free for their before-and-after membership data. (The museums: the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Indianapolis Museum of Art, the Minneapolis Institute of Arts and the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, which is pictured above, at right.) Their responses may surprise you. Read part two here.