As the economic crisis continues museums in the United States are feeling the pinch. New York and Philadelphia are both slashing jobs, salaries and closing up shops as their endowments are being hit hard.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art is down to only eight stores of their 23 across the United States. By July 21 ten percent of their work force will have been handed a pink slip.
Founded almost 130 years ago the museum has lost about $800 million since mid-2008 from their endowments. The Met is a nonprofit that survives only with the help of endowment, government aid, private donations and admission revenues.
On Friday The Academy of Natural Sciences in Philadelphia frozen hiring and announced that salaries would be slashed by 5 percent. In early 2008 the museum had $60 million in endowments, today that figure is less than $40 million.
People have had to stop coming to museums as wallets shrink. Even foreign tourist are shying away from the suggested $20 donation for admission fee.
In Toledo, Ohio the museum is also having to make staff cuts to stay afloat. The Museum of Contemporary Art in Cleveland has had to stop plans to build a new home until the economy recovers.
Across the country museums are having to let their staff go or cut salaries.
The super wealthy that funds museums are having to tighten their belts as their money is flying away quickly. Without the funding could the United States soon be without the culture that comes from a trip to the museum?
Perhaps it is time for people to skip a movie and take their family to see live action art in it's glory. Wait to long and the art may no longer be available for viewing.