Should museum professionals get into museums for free?

Museum Questions

One of the great perks of working in the museum field is free entry into other museums. I recently went to Indianapolis, and visited three museums in two days. The cost of visiting these three museums, for just one person, was $51.50. But, being an “insider” in the museum world, I called a colleague before going to one museum, and at the other two I showed my American Alliance of Museums card. In the end, I didn’t pay a dime for museum admission.

The normal way to enter a museum with an admission fee: Hand over money, get ticket, enter. Most people pay an admission fee to enter most museums: Hand over money, get ticket, enter.

Because I do not pay for museums, I never have to make difficult choices about which ones to visit, or think about what would make me choose one museum over another. Nor do I ever need to think about whether my admission money was well spent.

Free admission is partly professional courtesy, but more importantly a form of professional…

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