Yale News

The Yale Peabody Museum will switch to a free admission policy for all visitors when it reopens its doors to the public in 2024 following a major ongoing renovation project. 

After a $160 million gift from Edward P. Bass ’68 in August 2018 to renovate the Peabody –– one of the most significant donations to Yale University and the largest known gift ever made to an American natural history museum –– the museum was closed to the public in March 2020. The goal of the renovation is to allow for building conservation, construction of new classrooms and collection areas and the addition of 50 percent more gallery space, all while focusing on two main areas: accessibility and sustainability. 

Details of the free admission policy were announced Wednesday. Previously, tickets to the museum cost $13 for adults, $9 for seniors and $6 for children ages 3-18.

“Free admission is a means, not the end,” Peabody Museum Director David Skelly told Yale News. “It’s a tool in a much larger effort toward becoming a more accessible and welcoming institution. We view the renovation and the changes in admissions and programming as an opportunity to become the Peabody Museum our community needs because that’s the museum we want to be.”

According to the Peabody’s website, the renovated museum is designed to be accessible to all, with large elevators, touchable fossils, assistive listening devices and multilingual audio programming across galleries.

In a prior interview with the News, University President Peter Salovey said that one of the goals during his tenure was to make the Peabody Museum free to all.

“The Peabody and its collections … enhance the student experience and are used extensively by faculty in their research and teaching,” Salovey said to Yale News. “Increasing access through free admission will help us to enrich the lives of individuals from our home city and state and of visitors from around the world.” 

Currently, the Peabody Museum’s revamped collections facility is situated on Yale’s West Campus. It houses more than 1.5 million items from the museum’s anthropology, history of science and technology collections.

The Yale Peabody Museum is scheduled to reopen in early 2024.