London Museums Suspend Free Exhibition Entry to MA and ICOM Members

July 9 2020

Image of London Museums Suspend Free Exhibition Entry to MA and ICOM Members

Picture: The Guardian

Posted by Adam Busiakiewicz:

Here is a story that is being aired on Social Media over the past few days. Several London Museums have suspended discounted or free entry to their Temporary Exhibitions for members of the Museums Association and the International Council of Museums (ICOM). So far, this includes Tate, British Museum, National Gallery, Science Museum Group, Victoria & Albert Museum & the Natural History Museum.

The suspension is temporary and is due to reduced capacity because of social distancing restrictions. Naturally, museums and galleries are also doing their best to help claw back funds lost over the three months of lockdown. Equally, if museums can no longer rely on sheer volume (pictured) to make ends meet, then we should probably expect some further changes to how entry to popular temporary exhibitions is managed.

The suspension will affect museum professionals the most, who make up the majority of members of these two bodies. As this blog often highlights, the pay in the museums sector isn't what you might often expect it to be.

ICOM UK made the following statement on their Twitter account earlier today:

Whilst we understand the simple financial basis for this decision, we feel it is somewhat reactionary & doesn't take into account the wider benefits of reciprocal entry, like secondary spend, building & exchanging professional knowledge & encouraging broader & more diverse access.

The Museums Association also made this statement on their Twitter account a few days ago:

They informed us of this decision last week, and are committed to reviewing again in early September. We understand the difficulties of reopening with limited numbers, and we look forward to them sharing their work with their many sector colleagues as soon as possible.

Many museums are still offering our members free entry and all updates to MA free entry are listed on our website.

Notice to "Internet Explorer" Users

You are seeing this notice because you are using Internet Explorer 6.0 (or older version). IE6 is now a deprecated browser which this website no longer supports. To view the Art History News website, you can easily do so by downloading one of the following, freely available browsers:

Once you have upgraded your browser, you can return to this page using the new application, whereupon this notice will have been replaced by the full website and its content.