Wednesday, September 05, 2012

Pay as you urn

Most art museums have Friends groups to help with functions, put up funding for purchases into the collection and bulk up numbers at openings. The benefits to the Friends themselves vary but mostly there are discounts, previews and a newsletter. For such packages Friends are prepared to pay from $15 for a student membership to $30 for a family at the Govett-Brewster, from $20 for a student membership up to $4,000 for a platinum one at the Auckland Art Gallery and up to $40 for individual memberships and from $60 for a family at Te Papa. 
But at MONA, the Museum of New and Old Art in Hobart, a new world of Friend memberships is on offer by the dare-you-to owner David Walsh. For $75,000 you can have an Eternity Membership including all the usual MONA membership trimmings plus a guarantee of perpetual rest. Stump up the cash and your ashes will be stored forever at MONA in a handmade urn (Walsh disarmingly calls it a ‘fancy jar’) created by New Zealander Julia deVille. Putting his family where his mouth is Walsh’s father is already up on the shelf. Contact the museum at or call on 1800REMEMBER.
Image: a funerary urn by Julia deVille