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Wednesday, June 12

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Venue Thu Mar 12 2009

Art Institute Increases Fees

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As you may have heard, on May 23 the admission fees to the Art Institute will increase significantly. Adult entrance will cost $18, up from $12, and student and senior fees will increase to $12 from $7.

The price changes will come into effect exactly one week after the Modern Wing is scheduled to open, but the museum claims that the two things have nothing to do with each other. Museum spokeswoman Erin Hogan says that the increase is designed to help the museum keep up with rising costs in the face of decreasing attendance. She also points out that the Art Institute hasn't raised their fees in five years, which is technically true, but leaves out that in June 2006 the museum made their suggested donation a mandatory admission fee. Prior to that they had allowed entry to those who didn't, or couldn't, pay.

The Chicago Reader offers some excellent background on the decision and the new president who might have further changes in store for the museum. The Time Out Chicago blog defends the decision, but acknowledges that the increase will price some visitors out. The Chicago Art Blog thinks that all museums should be funded by the federal government and free to all. What do you think?

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Lauren Weinberg / March 12, 2009 12:34 PM

Jamie, the TOC blog isn't defending the decision—I said I'm not surprised it happened, and it's silly for the S-T and Trib to ask if the AIC is "worth" $18. I also believe the museum should be government-funded and free, and I think the end of the post conveys that.

Jamie Smith / March 12, 2009 3:54 PM

Hi, Lauren: Thanks for clarifying. I'm sorry if I misrepresented your views. I think we both agree that the art in the museum is priceless and should be available to all for free. But until that happens museums will have to keep choosing whether to allocate resources to reaching out to new constituencies or enhancing the experience for those who already appreciate it. As I commented on the TOC blog, I think the Art Institute has moved too far toward the latter.

Daily horoscope / April 10, 2009 3:16 PM

This is not a good one for all, Museum is a place to see our history and heritage.

Glenn-Florence Italy / April 10, 2009 9:57 PM

Great idea. Wait till the economy is really bad and raise the rates! I think at best they should keep them the same as people are looking for a value for their entertainment buck.
Florence Italy

Promotional Products / April 16, 2009 11:04 AM

will this effect something

Unlock iPhone 3G 2.2.1 / June 15, 2009 3:29 PM

It will rally effect the poor art lover

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Architecture Tue Nov 03 2015

Paul Goldberger Describes the "Pragmatism and Poetry" of Frank Gehry's Architecture in His New Book

By Nancy Bishop

Architecture critic Paul Goldberger talks about Frank Gehry's life and work in a new book.
Read this feature »

Steve at the Movies Fri Jan 01 2016

Best Feature Films & Documentaries of 2015

By Steve Prokopy

Read this column »


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