Monday, August 3, 2009
Would you pay to see a single painting?
I am back from vacation and catching up on reading my favorite blogs. On July 16th on artbiz.com, Alyson Standfield asked, "Is $17 a fair price to see the single painting La Velata by Raphael?" My first reaction was "oh, that is steep." However, I also knew I would probably pay it. At Our museum, Cincinnati Art Museum (CAM), we do not have a general admission fee so to see exhibits we pay a fee. If the exhibit appeals to me I have no problem paying it. Many who commented back to Alyson felt like I did. Some were upset that a museum would price the viewing so high that most people could not view it. Others felt that the museum should offer something with the fee like a lecture to off set the price for the opportunity to see view the painting. Michael Tyler commented that it was less than a movie with popcorn and a coke. Alyson then came back on July 21st to elaborate on her Deep Thought Thursday question. Alyson said that she was looking for a gut reaction from her readers. She then presented the facts. the painting is showing at the Portland Art Museum. It is $12 general admission and $5 to view the painting. The museum is only allowing 25 people at a time in to view the renaissance painting. This painting, according the Alyson, by Raphael was once considered the most beautiful in the world. It was compared to Da Vinci's Mona Lisa. So now she asked, "would you pay to see the painting?" It wasn't the turn around some of the com-mentors had after they learned more. It was Alyson's reasons on why we all should go see these special exhibits. A few of these reasons were: - Museums do this in hopes to increase membership - Museums are cheap entertainment - Museums in the USA are not government funded like in Great Britain - Museums spend LOTS of money to bring in exhibits and rarely make money from these special events. This list is what brings me to why this topic struck a chord with me. Last year the CAM brought in 3 portraits of Rembrandt. One came from the Louvre which was a feat in itself. I have been lucky to have seen the portraits in their home museums. I could not understand why the CAM was making such a fuss over three, although important, paintings. Why did they not put a whole show together like the Dayton Art Institute had the year before with etchings of DaVinci. They had 100 etchings by Da Vinci and 30 others by his peers. So until I read Alyson's article did I get the why. I feel like I owe the CAM a huge apology for thinking that they were not trying to bring large fabulous exhibits in. And how I hated to travel to other museums to see these spectacular exhibits. I now understand the mechanics of and for bringing in a exhibit. I will not flinch at an opportunity to see something like the exhibit that the CAM offered and what the PAM is offering. Gaylynn Happy Birthday Mom and Dad