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A Chuck Close Museum in the New York City Subway. Admission: $2.50

I kind of want to move to the Upper East Side of Manhattan. Actually, not really, but I may visit more often once the new 2nd Avenue Subway line is up and running in 2016. And that’s because New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority Arts for Transit has made the uncommonly wise decision to commission murals from artists such as Chuck Close

That means you can get admission to a world-class art museum for $2.50 (although there will most likely be at least one, if not several, fare hikes by 2016), which is still cheaper than the pay-what-you-wish Saturday evenings at the Guggenheim. And the lines are shorter. 

Some critics may see the reportedly $1 million commission as a frivolous expenditure. Chuck Close, who will be painting as many as 12 separate mosaics, disagrees. He told Big Think that more money is spent on admission to see art museums in New York City than Yankees games, notwithstanding the $200 a seat price at a Yankee game versus $10 to get into MoMA. According to Close, the economic benefit of the arts to the city is simply enormous. 

“Every dollar spent in the arts has about $100 in return,” he says, “in terms of the way it moves through society, whether it’s hotel rooms, and the people who are making the beds, and the people who are carrying the luggage, and the bartenders in the bars, and the people who run the restaurants. That dollar re-circulates about 100 times.”

Watch the video here:

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

Follow Daniel Honan on Twitter @Daniel Honan


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