The National Portrait Gallery
enters 2009 on a high, as visitor figures published today show that in 2008 the Gallery received its highest ever number of visits. The Gallery received 1,843,266 visits last year according to figures released today by the Association of Leading Visitor Attractions. This was an increase of 15% on 2007.
As well as the overall increase, the Gallery's annual Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition received the largest number of visitors for any National Portrait Gallery exhibition (273,236) and a popular programme of displays, activities and exhibitions including Annie Leibovitz: A Photographer's Life 1990-2005, Wyndham Lewis Portraits, Brilliant Women: 18th Century Bluestockings, the BP Portrait Award 2008 and Vanity Fair Portraits meant that visitor numbers to the Gallery were consistently high.
The announcement coincides with the first exhibition openings of the Gallery's 2009 programme starting with Gerhard Richter Portraits today (February 26 2009), and Constable Portraits: The Painter and His Circle next week (opening March 5).
Sandy Nairne, Director of the National Portrait Gallery, London, says: 'The National Portrait Gallery goes from strength to strength and these visitor figures show that the Gallery is a captivating place for everyone to visit.'