A thing of beauty doesn’t always sell forever.The Metropolitan Museum of Art has acknowledged closing 8 of its 23 satellite Met Stores around the country, including the Metropolitan Museum of Art Store at the South Street Seaport Museum earlier this year. Only one store is now open in California — at South Coast Plaza in Costa Mesa. Museum shops were shuttered in art-friendly San Francisco and Pasadena in 2008 and in Century City in 2009. Elyse Topalian, a spokesperson for the museum, says “disappointing financial performance” prompted the closing of the Met Stores after a study was commissioned on U.S. merchandising operations two years ago. She notes the museum maintains a “growing” online Met Store, and an active mail-order catalogue, which got a makeover this week. Nine Met Stores remain in the immediate New York region, among them shops at the museum’s main building, Rockefeller Center, Macy’s, the Cloisters, LaGuardia Airport, Newark Airport, and two Met Stores at JFK.