How Much Money Did This Year’s Met Gala Raise?

At the Met Gala on Monday, a throng of photographers fought to capture Zendaya and Kim Kardashian parading couture gowns down the red (technically, mouthwash-green) carpet.

Not pictured: dollar signs. A lot of them.

This year’s event raised about $26 million for the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, according to a spokeswoman. That’s a $4 million increase over last year’s total, and more than double what the event raised a decade ago, in 2014.

The total pummels the philanthropic events thrown to support many of the city’s other cultural institutions. The most recent fall gala for the New York City Ballet raised just short of $4 million, and the American Museum of Natural History’s gala brought in $2.5 million. Even The Met’s other events do not compare: Its Art & Artists Gala raised $4.4 million last year.

“There are very few other events that raise this kind of money,” said Rachel Feinberg, a fund-raising consultant who has worked on galas in New York City including a benefit last year for the Elmhurst Hospital in Queens. “The Met has found this formula that is fantastic for them.”

The event began in 1948 as a benefit for the Costume Institute, the museum’s only curatorial department expected to float its own annual operating budget. Since 1999, Anna Wintour, the global editorial director of Condé Nast and the editor of Vogue, has worked to transform the gala into an immensely profitable commingling of celebrities, sponsors and brands.

Ticket prices for the gala have increased steeply. This year an individual ticket was $75,000 — compared to $50,000 last year and $35,000 in 2022. Tickets to the 2015 gala cost exactly a third of what they do now.

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