After 42 years, the Met is doing away with its trademark admission buttons, replacing them instead with ruinous stickers filled with corporate advertising. This is a sad day for aesthetes everywhere, and The Times unholstered its loftiest guns to mourn the button:
"Over the years of its existence, the button became an accidental tourist totem — evidence not only that the city had been visited but also that high culture had been revered," the paper sighs. "And the button became a kind of art object in its own right, described once by Met curators as a kind of coin with a 'multilayered tissue of readings and meanings.'"
Conveniently, the stickers "will give the museum the space to promote shows, new and soon to close, and a space 'to sell to corporate sponsors' for advertising." First of all, how big are these stickers? Are they going to be like sticker-smocks, large enough that other clothes are no longer required? Are we going to step into the museum's regal entryway and, upon paying the recommended fee, change into our "one size fits most" corporate-sponsored body sticker?
Among the corporations you can expect to wear on your next visit to the Met include: Altria Group, U.S. Bancorp, At&T, Texaco, Bank of America, BP, Citigroup and so on. (You can see the full list of the museum's corporate sponsors here.)
But from the darkness, comes light: At the same time the museum announced the Death of the Button, it also revealed that it will now be open seven days a week, meaning patrons can now enjoy not having buttons on Mondays, too! Of course, the button—now sticker— is only awarded to those who pay a "recommended" admission fee. Without the gift of the button, there's more reason than ever to just blow on by without emptying your pockets, neck-cracking guards be damned.