When the Botticelli exhibition closed its doors on Sunday, 28 February, altogether 367,033 visitors had seen the presentation on the Florentine Renaissance artist. Botticelli was thus by far the most successful show in the Städel
s history. Previously, the exhibitions at this museum with the highest visitor numbers were Rembrandt Rembrandt (2003) with 245,000 visitors and Cranach the Elder (2007/08) with 205,000. With its daily average of more than 3,920, the Botticelli exhibition which opened on 13 November 2009 also surpassed earlier shows: Rembrandt Rembrandt by thirty-nine percent and Cranach the Elder by fifty. Of the visitors to the Botticelli exhibition, approximately forty-five percent came from Frankfurt and the Rhine-Main region, and about fifty-five percent from the remainder of Germany and abroad. Sixty-seven percent of the visitors claimed to have come to Frankfurt solely for the exhibition.
We are very happy, says Max Hollein, director of the Städel Museum, that the Botticelli exhibition was so well received. We have thus clearly underscored our Old Master focus at the Städel and established the museum all the more firmly in the national and international museum landscape with yet another first-rate exhibition. The immense popular success and the great media echo are clear indications of the potential topicality and significance borne by the art of the Old Masters.
With Botticelli, the Städel succeeded in addressing both experts and a broad public. The numerous mediation programmes and publications developed for and offered to various target groups proved extremely popular. In the fifteen weeks of the shows duration, the staff of the Städel department of education and mediation held altogether 2,850 guided tours, among them 2,600 special guided tours for groups and 250 guided tours for school classes. On School Pupils Day at the end of January, a further forty-one classes with altogether nine hundred pupils came to the exhibition. All of the special guided tours offered had already been fully booked by mid January. During the exhibition timespan, the Städel website recorded nearly 400,000 direct visitors and some 2.4 million page views, the video on the exhibition more than 75,300 distinct views. The publications released by the Städel in conjunction with the exhibition also enjoyed high turnover: the exhibition catalogue compromising more than four hundred pages and available in German and English, the audio book "Kunst zum hören: Botticelli" and the childrens book "In Sandro Botticellis geheimnisvoller Werkstatt" all three of which were published by the Hatje Cantz Verlag as well as the publication "Botticelli. Eine Einführung in die Ausstellung ab 12 Jahren".
Botticelli was accompanied by a highly diverse media echo. In the regional and supra-regional press as well as in many international media, the exhibition enjoyed an exceptionally large and positive response. The marketing campaign was supported and realized by numerous partners. Creative and sustainable cooperation with a wide range of partners enabled the Städel Museum to expand the advertising platforms for the exhibition substantially.
After the Botticelli exhibition closes, the Städel Museums permanent collection will remain open for one further week before the Main and Garden wings are closed from 8 March 2010 until (prospectively) May 2011 for major repair measures in conjunction with the Städel Museums structural expansion. Until 7 March, parts of the collection, especially the works of Flemish and Italian painting as well as the exhibitions Peter Roehr: Works from Frankfurt Collections and Constellations V will still be on view. In the special exhibition wing, preparations will soon be underway for the coming shows. From 23 April to 25 July 2010 the Städel will present an exhibition on Ernst Ludwig Kirchner with more than two hundred works the first comprehensive retrospective in Germany for thirty years. Subsequently a selection of Städel collection masterworks dating from the Middle Ages to the present will be on display in the exhibition wing.