Modern museum drops fees – Grace Glueck (1970)

A free admission committee composed of members of the Art Workers Coalition and MOMA museum staff helped inaugurate free Mondays starting in 1970. In coordination with the Detroit Institute of the Arts recent implementation of free admission, which led to a week of tripled attendance rates, we look back to excerpts from Grace Glueck’s coverage of MOMA free mondays:

The New York Times, January 6, 1970: “In an effort to make its facilities ‘available to more members of the community,’ the Museum of Modern Art will suspend its $1.50 admission fee, the highest of any museum in the country, one day a week.”

“The trustees’ action in suspending the fee on Mondays, the museum’s lightest day, was taken in response to urging by several groups. The most insistent has been the Art Workers Coalition [AWC], a loose-knit organization of artists, writers and filmmakers who have staged a number of protests at the museum. For the last few months a free-admission committee, composed of museum staffers and members of the Coalition, has been studying the question.”

“The free Monday program is also experimental for a six-month period. It will give the museum a chance to determine the effect upon its general economics and whether the program can be continued without a special subsidy.”

SOURCE: Grace Glueck, “Modern Museum to Drop Fee on Mondays,” The New York Times (January 6, 1970).