I’d heard a rumor that the Dallas Museum of Art might switch to a free admission sometime this fall. You’d still pay for special exhibits, naturally, but the permanent collection would cost you nada. I asked Jill Bernstein, the DMA’s communications czar, about the rumor. Her response: “We are exploring the return to free general admission, and the ramifications of a possible transition are currently being reviewed. We anticipate finishing our analysis within the coming months.”
I’m trying to remember when it was last free. About eight years ago? Anyway, the move makes sense to me. A membership will still be the most cost-effective way to see traveling exhibits. People who buy memberships won’t buy fewer memberships just because general admission is now free. On the other hand, with free general admission, it stands to reason that a greater number of casual, curious guests will be drawn to the museum — and might be enticed to buy a membership.