Between the Cindy Sherman retrospective and the Diego Rivera murals at the MOMA, John Chamberlain’s car parts at the Guggenheim, the Whitney Biennial and the incomparable Stein Family’s treasures at the Met, there is a veritable cacophony of culture on show at New York’s best museums this spring. But we’re Brokelyn, so we’re going to show you how to do it all on the cheap/free. We have covered NYC’s free or pay what you wish museum viewing times, but these are usually very busy, especially during popular exhibits. There are other ways you may not know about to get a good deal on some soul-expanding art experiences, so read on.
Most museums have sponsor companies (usually banks or other large corporations), whose workers get themselves and (generally) one or two guests in for free with their work ID or business card. Sometimes the museums require a corporate courtesy card, so double check before you go. Here is a list of MOMAs corporate sponsors, here is the Guggenheim’s and hereis list for the Whitney Museum.
PROFESSIONAL COURTESY PASSES
Museums in NYC allow workers from other museums to visit for free with a valid ID card, most of the time allowing a guest or two as well. They also sometimes get free or cheap tickets to special events and parties, many of which have top notch free booze and food, so get your schmooze on.
BLUE STAR PROGRAM
Active military personnel and their entire family get in free to the MOMA all year round, and at most other NYC museums between Memorial Day and Labor Day each year.
COOL CULTURE PASSES
This is a pass that admits up to five family members to more than 90 cultural institutions in NYC. All of the main museums offer free entrance to card holders and their families. This card is offered free to families with at least one child enrolled in a participating early education program or elementary school.
Although its primarily for art professionals, the American Association of Museums also allows membership by the general public at the (relatively low) cost: $50 for students and retirees, and $90 for everyone else. As far as I know, AAM card holders gain free admission to all accredited museums in the USA.
AND THE REGULAR FREE DAYS
Of course, if you want to battle the crowds at the designated free museum times, check our previous article for details.