What's In My Wallet: Museum Membership Cards

Even before I saw any art at the New Museum's new home on the Bowery, even before I knew that the café had red velvet cupcakes and the elevators were that shade of green, I joined as a member, finding it easy to sign up at the front desk.

After I visited the New Museum this past Saturday, I walked over to the MoMA Design Store in SoHo (81 Spring St.), encountering the store jam-packed with shoppers taking advantage, like me, of the member discount days. With 20% off the regular price, I was able to round up many unusual gifts for all the usual suspects.

As a frequent museum visitor, it's more cost effective for me to become a member. At MoMA, for example, if I shelled out $20 each time I visited the galleries over the course of a year, that would cost more than my annual membership. I also like to skip the lines and take advantage of discounts at the shops and cafés. With my Met membership, I can enjoy previews of special exhibitions and the beautiful quarterly Art Bulletin that arrives in the mail.

If this seems like a pitch to give a museum membership as a holiday gift, it is.

Image: Visitor entrance: New Museum, 235 Bowery.

Note: A list of New York museums open on Mondays is posted in the sidebar on this website.

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