The world of art lovers couldn't be any sadder that they'll be gone after this weekend.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art's multicolored admissions buttons were perhaps always overly nostalgic, evocative of days left behind at one of the world's greatest places, but now the world of art lovers and New Yorks suddenly couldn't be any sadder that they'll be gone after this weekend.

The Met is doing away with the clip-on buttons, so long a signal of hours spent getting cultured, or at least a cool free tourist knick-knack, and is opting to replace them with paper tickets that includee detachable stickers, the New York Times' Michael Silverberg and Randy Kennedy report. The museum's change—which came about because of the cost of the tin pieces—will begin on Monday, as the museum switches over to a seven-day schedule. Of course, New York is always changing, but New Yorkers covet their nostalgia, so they've taken to Twitter to express their disappointment, and you can bet there will be a run on buttons during a rainy Manhattan weekend—and throughout history on eBay. Bon Appétit art director Elizabeth Spiridakis expressed the feeling of loss pretty perfectly for little tin circles that became such collector's items: 

Even the museum's director, Thomas P. Campbell, felt bad. "I regret it slightly myself," he told The Times. "One of my assistants has a whole rainbow of the colored buttons on her desk." 

Indeed, the buttons became living memories, pieces of art in the Met's own collection, and badges signifying taste for tourists and natives alike. But they were also completely ephemeral. Symbols and nothing more. While some frequent Met visitors coveted their badges, others, like this writer, did not think much of them. It was silly to hang onto them, because they would always be there, just like the institution they represented. The buttons were at times frustrating, often falling off whatever item of clothing to which they were affixed. (This writer's most recent button somehow ended up getting flushed down a toilet in the museum.)

Today, though, the nostalgia is overwhelming, and we wouldn't be surprised to find that Met fans flock to the museum this weekend just to grab a button before they're gone or search through their homes to see if they can find a keepsake. Writer Alyssa Harad tweeted: "I should look in the bottoms of all my old purses and see if there are any more. #MetButtons"

But the museum's official reasoning for ditching the buttons makes sense. They are pricier than their paper equivalent, and worse for the environment. So farewell, Met buttons; perhaps you are best worn as a symbol of nostalgia.

This post originally appeared on The Atlantic Wire.

About the Author

Most Popular

  1. A Soviet map of London, labeled in Russian.
    Maps

    The Soviet Military Secretly Mapped the Entire World

    These intricate, curious maps were supposed to be destroyed. The ones that remain reveal a fascinating portrait of how the U.S.S.R. monitored the world.

  2. A row of tractor trailers lined up at a truck stop.
    Transportation

    The Truckers Who Are Taking on Human Trafficking

    In Arkansas, the “knights of the road” are being trained to combat truck-stop prostitution.

  3. Life

    Is Minimalism for Black People?

    Black communities have long practiced core tenets of the lifestyle—yet are not well-represented amongst its most recognizable influencers.

  4. An illustration of a front porch.
    Life

    America Rediscovers Its Love of the Front Porch

    In the 20th century, porches couldn’t compete with TV and air conditioning. Now this classic feature of American homes is staging a comeback as something more stylish and image-conscious than ever before.

  5. Maps

    Mapping Where Europe's Population Is Moving, Aging, and Finding Work

    Younger people are fleeing rural areas, migrating northward, and having fewer children. Here’s how that’s changing the region.