Monday, July 05, 2010

Pricing Me Into Museums

As much as I like the idea of museums, I've never really liked going to them. Finally, I understand why:
Bruno Frey and Lasse Steiner claim it can attract casual visitors by asking for an entrance fee that depends on the time spent in the museum. This would allow for a cheap "sneak peek," and true lovers would pay much closer to their marginal utility.
I would love to see a lot of museums for a short amount of time. I walk fast and I'm picky with what I like. This would get me giving more money to more museums all the while learning more and feeling better about it.


  1. Amike9:25 AM

    So do they charge you on the way out?

    I don't know if I'm a fan of this in general, but I'd LOVE to see museums adopt this policy maybe one day a month...the consequence of course being MUSEUM CHAOS!! People scampering every which way, bumping into each other, trying to get through everything as fast as possible, sculptures falling left and right... Or, better yet, let the Guggenheim in NYC have a night like this. Everybody take the elevator to the top of the ramp, get out and RUN! RUN! RUN!!! Down the downward spiral! Go! GO!!!

    I once went on a school field trip to the Art Institute of Chicago...lurking in the gift shop with twenty minutes before the bus left, I discovered that the museum had American Gothic and I'd missed it somehow...which led to a frantic 15-minute dash through the entire museum until I finally located that painting. Best fun I've ever had at the AIC.

  2. Amike9:28 AM

    Oh, yeah, and then there was the time my French class ran out of time at the Louvre and decided to sprint through an entire wing of the building (rather than skipping it altogether) while the bus was sitting there waiting for us. Also the most fun of that whole trip...and we were unwittingly recreating one of the most famous scenes in movie history.

    So, yeah, now I'm totally with you. And so is the French New Wave.

  3. Amike, the dash through the Louvre is a common tourist thing! My wife and I had to do that to get out after realizing that after four hours we were only on the fourth floor of the final wing and had to work our way down to get out; not wanting to spend more hours looking at a slow chronological pace through art history, we hustled through.

    Harrison, it's a good thing the Smithsonian is free. I'm the way you are, but about revisits. I don't want to pay a high fee to get back in another day (even a year later). Here's a variation: the Metrolpolitan Museum in NYC requests a $20 "daily membership" donation, but will accept less.


You are the reason why I do not write privately. I would love to hear your thoughts, whether you agree or not.