Art Museum admissions to go up 25%

Posted: June 05, 2007

The Philadelphia Museum of Art is hiking admission across all categories by an average of 25 percent. Starting July 1, general admission for adults will rise to $14 from $12. Students with ID and visitors between the ages of 13 and 18 will pay $10, up from $8.

Seniors will see the biggest increase, to $12 from $9 previously - a 33 percent boost.

Untouched is the policy of free admission to children 12 years old and younger and free admission to Philadelphia public school groups. "Pay what you wish" Sundays continue.

The Fairmount Park Commission approved the changes yesterday, said park executive director Mark A. Focht, who said the Art Museum cited rising operating costs and the opening of the Perelman building this fall as reasons for the higher ticket prices.

The increase comes just two years after the last one, when prices rose between 14 and 29 percent. (The hike before that was four years earlier.)

The new fees mean that since 1997 regular adult admission has doubled; for seniors in the past decade it has tripled. At the same time, the museum has expanded free admission for children and extended the pay-what-you-wish policy from part to all of Sunday.

Gail Harrity, the museum's chief operating officer, said the increases were not in response to a deficit, as they have been previously. The museum expects to balance its budget this year and next, she said.

"This is a normal course of events . . .," she said. "We have raised them before and will raise them again. We feel we're still moderately priced. We're less expensive than the Franklin Institute or the Philadelphia Zoo, and some of our counterparts across the nation."

Harrity said that the opening of the Perelman building would in fact increase operating costs, but that it would also provide increased revenue, since the museum expects it to draw an additional 80,000 visitors next year.

Contact culture writer Peter Dobrin at 215-854-5611 or

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