Klaus Biesenbach announced in an email today that the museum he directs, MoMA PS1 in Queens, will be free for all New York City residents thanks to a gift from the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation. Tickets currently cost $10 for adults and $5 for students and seniors, though it’s worth noting that those are suggested fees. Visitors from out of town will still have to pay.
How are they going to confirm residency? From the museum: “Upon arrival please present proof of New York City residency such as a driver’s license, state-issued identification card or a New York City utility bill.” (Incidentally, I have an appointment to get my IDNYC, just like Pope Francis, tomorrow. Though press get in free anyway.)
“It is important to give back to New York City, a city with so many artists,” Marina Kellen French, the vice president of the Anna-Maria and Stephen Kellen Foundation, said in a statement released to press. “MoMA PS1 in Queens has many exhibitions that should be seen by everybody from all five boroughs. I hope the gift will help MoMA PS1 efforts to lower the barriers to enter the museum and reach out to an even wider audience.”
PS1 now joins a small group of New York art museums that operate without admission fees, like the Bronx Museum of the Arts, which eliminated admissions fees in 2012, and Socrates Sculpture Park in Queens.
Most New York museums have gone in the opposite direction for ticket prices in recent years, with both the Museum of Modern Art and the Metropolitan Museum of Art increasing the price of an adult ticket from $20 to an astounding $25 in 2011 (in the Met’s case, of course, that is also a suggested price), and the Whitney from $20 to $22 when it moved to the Meatpacking District earlier this year.
In other PS1 news, its quinquennial, “Greater New York,” opens to the public this Sunday.