The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that it welcomed more than 7.35 million visitors to its three locations—The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Cloisters, and The Met Breuer—in the fiscal year that ended on June 30 (FY18).
The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that it welcomed more than 7.35 million visitors to its three locations—The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Cloisters, and The Met Breuer—in the fiscal year that ended on June 30 (FY18). It is the highest fiscal year attendance in the Museum’s recorded history, and is due in large part to the record-breaking attendance for Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer, which was on view from November 13, 2017 through February 12, 2018 and brought in 702,516 visitors. The exhibition is now the 10th most attended show in the Museum’s history.
The Museum also announced that it brought in over $250 million in philanthropic gifts, Membership contributions, and government support, the highest amount in recent years. A highlight of the year was the exceptional gift of more than $80 million from Trustee Florence Irving and her late husband, Herbert Irving, the largest financial gift the Museum has received in recent history.
"The Met prides itself on serving the public through our collection, exhibitions, and education programs—all of which meet the highest possible standards," said Daniel H. Weiss, President and CEO of the Museum. "Importantly, we’re gratified to recognize that these offerings not only resonate with our visitors but also inspire extraordinary support."
The Museum continues to be New York City's most visited tourist attraction for domestic and international audiences. In FY18, international visitors accounted for 34% of the Museum's attendees. The Met is also a popular destination for local visitors: 32% of the Museum's visitors came from the five boroughs of New York City, and 13% were from the tri-state area outside of the City. Also in FY18, TripAdvisor named The Met its Travelers' Choice for Best Museum in the World for an unprecedented third year in a row.
In addition to Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer, exhibitions that drew high numbers of visitors to the Museum include Cristobal de Villalpando: Mexican Painter of the Baroque, with attendance of 256,339; and David Hockney, with 363,877.
Also contributing to the high attendance in FY18 were the first two months of The Costume Institute’s Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, which is on view at The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters through October 8, and is on track to be one of the Museum’s highest attended exhibitions in its history. Since it opened on May 10, the exhibition has drawn more than 500,000 visitors to The Met Fifth Avenue, and an additional 70,000 have visited The Met Cloisters—a 40% increase over the same time period last year. The final months of last summer's popular exhibitions Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between, which attracted 558,006 visitors, and The Roof Garden Commission: Adrián Villar Rojas, The Theater of Disappearance, which drew 510,946 visitors, also contributed to the high attendance.
Image on top: Michelangelo Buonarroti (Italian, 1475–1564). Sketches of the Virgin, the Christ Child Reclining on a Cushion, and Other Sketches of Infants. Pen and brown ink. Staatliche Museen zu Berlin, Kupferstichkabinett (KdZ 1363)
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