The Metropolitan Museum of Art said on Wednesday that it would stop accepting gifts from members of the Sackler family linked to OxyContin, severing ties between one of the world’s most prestigious museums and one of its most prolific philanthropic dynasties.
The decision was months in the making, and followed steps by other museums, including the Tate Modern in London and the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum in New York, to distance themselves from the family behind Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin. On Wednesday, the American Museum of Natural History said that it, too, had ceased taking Sackler donations.
The moves reflect the growing outrage over the role the Sacklers may have played in the opioid crisis, as well as an energized activist movement that is starting to force museums to reckon with where some of their money comes from.
“The museum takes a position of gratitude and respect to those who support us, but on occasion, we feel it’s necessary to step away from gifts that are not in the public interest, or in our institution’s interest,” said Daniel H. Weiss, the president of the Met. “That is what we’re doing here.”
The Met’s relationship with the Sacklers goes back decades, and one of its biggest attractions, the Temple of Dendur, sits in the glass-enclosed Sackler Wing. Mr. Weiss said the museum had no plans to remove the name, as some protesters have demanded.
But its decision to stop accepting future gifts from Sacklers connected to Purdue Pharma, or their foundations, could spur other cultural institutions to follow suit. The family has given tens