The number of museums in the world is higher than most people might think. The International Council of Museums has 44,686 members in 138 countries. For an institution to be recognized as a museum, it must be non-profit, a permanent institution, open to the public, that conserves and researches “the tangible and intangible heritage of humanity and its environment for the purposes of education”. It must also work for the purpose of education and enjoyment. It is a detailed, and vague description.
Museums are not a new creation. The Palazzo dei Conservatori was founded in 1734 by Pope Clement XII. Almost all of the world’s oldest museums are in Europe. The Charleston Museum is almost certainly the oldest in America, opened in 1773. It is primarily known for its archaeology collection.
Some of America’s older museums are huge. The Natural History Museum in New York, founded in 1869, takes up almost an entire block of Manhattan and has dozens of exhibits.
Some museums are free to the public – but it costs a lot to collect and maintain a good museum, staff it properly, and install and monitor effective security systems. Costs add up and while many museums enjoy local or federal government support and private endowments, they usually also need to fund their operation through admission fees.
To identify the most expensive art museum in the USA, 24/7 Tempo reviewed data on price inflation at major U.S. attractions provided by coupon distribution platform and website DealA. The site considered 40 top American museums, comparing the price of a single adult general admission ticket as of December 23, 2021, with the equivalent ticket price in 2017, derived from each museum’s 2017 web pages accessed via the Wayback Machine. If online and in-person ticket prices differed, online prices were used. Automatically applied promotional prices were not considered. When ticket prices differed by day, the starting price of a general admission ticket was used.
Some of the museums we looked at are world-class art museums, like New York City’s Museum of Modern Art and Metropolitan Museum of Art and Boston’s Museum of Fine Arts. Others focus on history or science – for instance, the USS Midway Museum and the Kennedy Space Center Visitors Complex.
The most expensive Museum in the US is the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex. Here are the details:
> Location: Merritt Island, FL
> Current ticket price: $57
> 2017 ticket price: $50
> Percent increase since 2017: 14%
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