Friday, July 28, 2017

Note to The Met: It's all about the experience.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, one of my favorite places on earth, currently has a $15 million deficit.  Last Sunday The New York Times solicited ideas from fans for "fixing" the problem.  So, I thought I would contribute some thoughts of my own. (Farago & Haigney, 2017)

Research shows that people who use their money to buy experiences are happier than those who use their money to buy things. (Blackman, 2014)  While people have been somewhat slow in accepting this reality, Millennials seem to be doing so in greater numbers than previous generations.  Perhaps because they are broke? 

Or maybe it's because on social media, experiences play better than things.  In an article in The Wall Street Journal about Mills and wine, one went so far as to say: "Maybe if the story was more interesting I would have liked the wine more." (Teague, 2015)

So, The Met needs to think about providing experiences that will make a good story - with photo ops.  They're doing fairly well on the former, with the "China Through the Looking Glass" exhibit as a prime example.  The mix of video with fashion was stunning.  So much so that I visited three times.  But the dramatic lighting made it hard to photograph, so I didn't share as many pics on Instagram and my art blog as I would have liked.  That's a missed opportunity.

Even if you don't want people to photograph the art, you can do set-ups within exhibits that encourage photography, similar to this one at AMC Kips Bay on 23rd Street.  

The bottom line is that your fans will help you find new ones if you let them.

One more thought.  It's interesting to hear what artists have to say about The Met's collection, but I suspect that more people would be interested in hearing what the celebrities who attend the yearly fashion gala have to say.  Surely some of them are actual fans of the museum.  

I can even envision visitors putting together a self-guided tour of their favorite celebrities favorite places - and taking a selfie or two along the way of course.

Think about it.


My friend Doug saw this blog and forwarded this photo to me.  It was taken at the Kimbell Museum in Ft. Worth, Texas., when Paris Street; Rainy Day by Gustave Caillebotte was on loan from the collection at the Art Institute of Chicago  Apparently they had the same idea that I did.  They provided a life size copy of the painting with top hats and umbrellas and let people take pics.  Awesome.  Just like I thought it would be.

Farago, J. & Haigney, S. (2017, July 16)  Fixing the Met: Art Fans Speak.  Retrieved July 28, 2017, from

Blackman, A. (2014, November 10)  Can Money Buy You Happiness?  Retrieved May 8, 2016, from

Teague, L. (2015, November 5) How Millennials Are Changing Wine.  Retrieved July 28, 2017, from 

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