Wednesday, July 25, 2018

The Price of Art

As I was talking myself into going to the Frank Stella exhibit at the Museum of Art Ft. Lauderdale, I reminded myself that the ticket was only $12--of course, I didn't realize I would get a discount.  But even without a discount--what a bargain!  I got to spend time with a modern master, with works from every major period that ends up representing much of art movements in the 20th century, and for a very low price.

Of course, if I had wanted to buy one of those works, I'd have had to pay substantially more.

I've been thinking about how we price the art we consume. Why is the ticket for an art museum so much cheaper than the ticket for a touring Broadway show?  I enjoy each about equally, if they're both well done.  But the ticket for Wicked was over $100, while the Stella show was $12.

I realize that there are many variables:  staffing and support materials and underwriters and fuel.  Still, it intrigues me.

I still have trouble paying museum admission because I grew up going to the Smithsonian museums for free.  I still have trouble paying 21st century concert ticket prices because the first one I ever bought with my own money (for Journey and Loverboy, back in the early 80's) was $9.

These days, money is less a problem than finding the time and the energy.  Back in the mid 90's, when we thought about moving to a place with more cultural opportunities than South Carolina, I would not have predicted that development.

If I had more time, I might write about that.  Or I might write about art supplies--once I had to save up to afford them, but once again, now money is less of a problem than time.  But now, it's time to get ready for the activities that bring in that money and take up that time.

Of course, I've been up for hours, grading papers for my online class.  I see a spot of time opening up as the summer term comes to a close.  Let me plan now for what I want to get done--look for a later post on this topic!

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