The Met is Showing that Art Is Not for Everyone

Patrick O’Connell
Staff Writer

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Photo credit: Gandalf’s Gallery/Flickr

Recently the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York updated their policy on admission fees. For the past 50 years, the Met has allowed anyone from the public to visit and enjoy art for free. It’s given thousands of people the opportunity to learn and experience works of art that they normally wouldn’t, amd has opened eyes to a world that exists only within the abstract.

Now they charge a $25 entry fee for out-of-state visitors. Along with that, in-state visitors are required to show an I.D. This change in policy will make it much more difficult for people to afford access to the museum. And it’s about time too because poor people don’t deserve art.

Art is critical to the structure of society. It’s the only way for people to communicate their most abstract thoughts in a way that anyone can understand. It is imperative that art be preserved for future generations to understand.

However, analyzing art is a skill one must learn; hence the number of liberal arts majors. Among those who study the liberal arts, seldom are there people who can’t afford a $25 entry fee. So why would the Met allow people to enter the museum for free that can’t understand its exhibits.

Historically, art has been something for high society to appreciate. Paintings with layers of meaning such as Grant Wood’s “American Gothic” or Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” would be completely lost on someone without years of training gained only by constant exposure to caviar and yachts. Art is and has always been about wealth.

There is a very important reason that famous paintings cost millions of dollars. It has nothing to do with a kabal of art collectors who put tangible worth on the abstract only to be traded around like baseball cards. It’s because if paintings were cheap then any trashy blue collar could buy a painting of Dali’s and hang it on their wall next to their electronic singing bass. For that reason, poor people shouldn’t be allowed in the Met.

This all may seem somewhat extreme but I want to emphasize how important it is to keep the art community safe from those of lower social class. Art is and has always been for people of refined backgrounds.

The whole point of going to an art museum is so that you can impress everyone with how much more you know about art than everyone else. It’s all about being able to say to someone “The way this painter uses the color blue as a manifestation of their sexual frustrations is so brave” or “I’ve always found Van Gogh’s work to be very trite.” This kind of language would allude a commoner. They would simply get nothing out of the museum. Why waste the time of worker bees with things beyond their comprehension?

The Met should change their policy even further. Twenty five dollars is a small price for out of state visitors to pay and doesn’t do a good job of filtering out the riff raff. There are still deplorables who manage a living in New York and this policy does nothing to stop them. Anyone who tries to enter the museum should be required to pass a literacy test to ensure that only the educated can gain entry.

This literacy test would have visitors prove they have prior knowledge of art history as well as what cheeses are best paired with which wines. Along with that, the entry fee should be raised from $25 to $25,000. This may seem rather steep but the fee would only be charged once and would give lifetime access as well as grandfathering in any future descendants. This way we can ensure that those of more elite bloodlines are never questioned in their birthright.

Once a month, a raffle should be held to allow one person of lower economic status inside the museum for the day. They will then be branded so that they will never forget the kindness that the art community has shown them.

If poor people spent their time looking at art who would be working? Art would be a distraction from progress. Art is best left to those with the cultural background to understand it. This new admission fee for out-of-state visitors at the Met is only the first step towards the brilliant new frontier of class darwinism.

Every class has their function in society. The upper class is meant to appreciate the finer things in life. The working class is the foundation of America and it’s important that the foundation stay on the bottom.

Categories: Columns, Opinions

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