NEW YORK, NY.-
Attendance at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
reached 5,240,000 visitors during the fiscal year that ends today, June 30, the Museum has announced. This is the first year since 2001 that attendance at the Metropolitan has exceeded five million. The number, which includes attendance at The Cloisters museum and gardens, ranks among the highest in its entire 130-year history.
"We are pleased to announce this landmark attendance figure, which underscores the vibrancy of the Metropolitan Museum's exhibitions and collections for its audiences from around the world. It also sends a signal about the enduring importance of culture and cultural institutions to the public, especially during this period of recession," stated the Museum's Director, Thomas P. Campbell.
More than 30 exhibitions were presented during the past year. Among the most popular with the public were Vermeer's Masterpiece The Milkmaid (September 10-November 29, 2009), with 329,446 visitors, and three current exhibitions: Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (April 27-August 15, 2010) with 380,574 visitors to date, Doug + Mike Starn on the Roof: Big Bamb˙ (April 27-October 31, weather permitting) with 208,313 visitors so far, and American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity (May 5-August 15, 2010) with 175,033 visitors since its opening. Figures for the three current exhibitions reflect attendance as of June 30.
"It is especially heartening that three of the four most highly attended exhibitions for the year were drawn entirely or almost entirely from the Metropolitan Museum's permanent collection," continued Mr. Campbell. "This is a tribute to the encyclopedic sweep and astounding depth of the collection here, and it underscores the unique ability of this institution to present a stellar exhibition program in the context of its collections of the finest examples of the visual history of the world."
Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art presents 300 of the 400 works in the Met's collection by the modern master, spanning his long and legendary career. American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity is drawn from the Brooklyn Museum Costume Collection at the Met, which was transferred to the Metropolitan Museum in 2009. And Vermeer's Masterpiece The Milkmaid included works from the Metropolitan's collection related to The Milkmaid, a landmark loan from Amsterdam's Rijksmuseum on the occasion of the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's historic voyage from the Netherlands to New York.
Other areas of the Museum experienced notable increases as well. Memberships increased to a record high of 138,000 members. Visitation to the Museum's website (www.metmuseum.org) also increased by 14% to nearly 40 million. The Met's five million visitors for Fiscal Year 2010 include more than 195,000 school visitors, representing a 50% increase in school groups.