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It's a grim picture for museum lovers as entry fees climb

Since 9/11, private and government funding has fallen. Visitors are often paying more to fill in the money gap.

October 12, 2003|Jane Engle | Times Staff Writer

You don't have to go to Singapore or Hong Kong to find inexpensive museums. More than one-third of museums in the American Assn. of Museums' latest poll don't charge admission, and more than two-thirds have free days. It pays to call or check Web sites before a visit. And despite typically higher prices in big cities, the average nonmember fee in the poll was $5 -- not bad compared with the price of movies, pro sports and concerts.

At the Los Angeles County Museum of Art, which recently increased its regular adult admission to $9 from $7, you can go free from 5 to 9 p.m. Fridays and 5 to 8 p.m. other days (except Wednesdays, when it's closed). Unless you want to go to its latest blockbuster, "Old Masters, Impressionists, and Moderns" (closing Monday), which charges $17 weekdays, $20 weekends, plus $6 for an audio tour.

I guess we'd better get used to that. Or resolve to provide more public funding for the arts.

Jane Engle welcomes comments and suggestions but cannot respond individually to letters and calls. Write Travel Insider, Los Angeles Times, 202 W. 1st St., Los Angeles, CA 90012, or e-mail

For The Record
Los Angeles Times Sunday November 09, 2003 Home Edition Travel Part L Page 3 Features Desk 2 inches; 95 words Type of Material: Correction
Museum admissions -- A Travel Insider column in the Oct. 12 Travel section incorrectly interpreted data from the American Assn. of Museums. The group's questionnaires indicate that the median admission fee at museums has risen about 25%, from about $4 to $5, since 1999, not 50% or more, as written.

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