Dead Sea Scrolls: Words That Changed the World is the most successful exhibition displayed at the Royal Ontario Museum
(ROM) in the nine years since Egyptian Art in the Age of the Pyramids. Over 300,000 visited the exhibition during its Toronto engagement.
From the exhibitions June 27, 2009 opening to its January 3, 2010 closing, an exceptional 331,500 visitors responded to this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to see one of the greatest archaeological finds of the 20th century. This attendance includes those viewing the Ten Commandments Scroll, on display at the ROM for only 80 hours from October 10 through October 18, 2009. The great appeal of these presentations led to the Royal Ontario Museums 2009 attendance reaching 1,024,964 visitors. This figure includes Dead Sea Scrolls school visits of approximately 12,000 students and accompanying adults, as well as over 790 organized groups representing approximately 23,000 visitors.
On announcing the ROMs Dead Sea Scrolls engagement, ROM Director & CEO William Thorsell offered that the exhibition, under the guidance of the Dead Sea Scrolls Community Advisory Panel, would
.present a wealth of exceptional programming
.explore compelling ideas related to the Dead Sea Scrolls, launch provocative and enlightening inter-faith discussions, and create a deeper understanding of the Scrolls. Approximately 4,500 people attended the Anne Tanenbaum Lecture Series, making it the largest, most successful lecture series in the ROMs history. Running the length of the exhibitions engagement, the lecture series featured an international slate of distinguished scholars. Most of the Series 14 lectures, many of which were sold out, are posted at www.rom.on.ca/media/podcasts/index.php
, as are those of the Directors Signature Series, which featured Christopher Hitchens, Camille Paglia and A.J. Jacobs in three sold out evenings.
This years ROM for the Holidays (RFTH) saw the highest attendance in the last decade, except for the 2007/08 season which ran an additional three days longer than this year's. Daily attendance was highest this year with an average 6,555 visitors each day, even when compared to 2007/2008 with an average 5,737 visitors. Total overall ROM attendance during this year's RFTH was 59,300 visitors.
From December 26, 2009 to January 3, 2010, the ROM offered its visitors extended hours to accommodate the demand for the final days of its two engaging, high-profile exhibitions, Dead Sea Scrolls and Vanity Fair Portraits.