Friday, March 14, 2008
When the Richard Prince show closed at the Guggenheim after being up for four months, I solicited mini-reviews as comments, and didn’t get a single one. I did, however, receive at least 10 emails from people, mostly fellow artists, telling me that they didn’t see the exhibition because of disinterest or lack of time, which is disinterest in disguise because if they really wanted to see it they’d find the time. But the other unspoken reason has to be the entrance fee. Duh! Because I have a press card I just never think about it. The Guggenheim doesn't put their entrance fee on their Web site that I could find, but I think it’s $17. The Whitney is $15 and MoMA is $20. And again, if people really wanted to see something, they’d shell out whatever. However for an artist to keep up-to-date with everything that’s going on in the four major New York museums, not to speak of places like the Cooper-Hewitt ($8), the Jewish Museum ($12), the New Museum ($12) and the Brooklyn Museum ($8), it gets very pricey. The Met’s “suggested” fee is $20, which is nice—try making a "suggestion" to MoMA sometime. So the question then becomes, who are museums for? If a museum does not exist to stimulate the art of its time, what is its purpose?