The Price of Art, also known as The Time I Spent $2 to See Some of the Greatest Art in the World
Text by Annie Evans, Ball State University ’16
Photo by The MET Museum
Millions of people enter the hallowed halls of The Metropolitan Museum each year. The Met holds brilliant pieces of art and history for the world to see.
As people flooded the lobby, lines formed to pay for the privilege of experiencing some of the greatest art in the world. I saw the $25 Suggested Donation Price, and as a broke college student majoring in the arts, I realized the price was suggested. I opened my wallet and pulled out the meager $2 I felt I could afford. As I handed the crinkled bills to the clerk, I imagined that they were just kidding and I would be escorted away for committing the crime of devaluing the art due to my lack of funds.
On the contrary, the clerk looked at me and smiled, and told me to enjoy the exhibits. At that moment I stopped holding my breath and prepared myself for a joyful, artful day ahead.
This experience begs the question: What is the price of art? More importantly, who gets to decide the price of art? Can only the wealthy be cultured? Just like Helen Mirren’s The Woman in Gold, we can ask if a piece belongs to an individual or a nation.
I’ve heard stories of other artists spending a quarter for each visit to the Met, since they go frequently for research.
This series of questions are ours to answer as the future artists of the world. Just another experience at New York Arts Program that helps us grow as artists!