The Metropolitan Museum of Art (www.metmuseum.org) announced recently that it welcomed more than seven 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 (FY19). The Museum’s renowned collection and a range of exhibitions and programs drew audiences throughout the year. Standout exhibitions included a seminal display of works by Eugène Delacroix; a groundbreaking presentation of art from medieval Armenia; a timely exploration of art and culture from the ancient Middle East; and two shows that are still on view—“Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll,” a celebration of the artistry of the iconic instruments of rock and roll, and “Camp: Notes on Fashion,” an exploration of the exuberant nature of the camp aesthetic through fashion.
“The Met is both a global destination and a hometown museum, and we’re honored to have welcomed so many visitors this past year from near and far,” said Daniel H. Weiss, president and CEO of the museum. “Our mission is to connect people with the art of all times and cultures, and it is inspiring to see the Museum resonating with such a large audience.”
Continually one of New York City’s most visited tourist attractions for domestic and international audiences, The Met draws a wide range of visitors. In the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2019, international tourists accounted for 28 percent of the museum’s visitors. Local visitors from the five boroughs of New York City made up 35 percent of the overall total, and 16 percent were from New York’s tri-state area.
Popular Exhibitions at the Met
Besides “Heavenly Bodies,” another 2018 exhibition that contributed to the museum’s strong attendance in FY19 was “The Roof Garden Commission: Huma Bhabha, ‘We Come in Peace,’” which closed on October 8, 2018, with 383,714 visitors. The exhibitions that drew high numbers of visitors to the museum in FY19 include “Delacroix,” which welcomed 346,259 from September 17, 2018, through January 6, 2019; and “Armenia!” which had 229,491 visitors from September 22, 2018, through January 13, 2019. “Monumental Journey: The Daguerreotypes of Girault de Prangey” (on view January 30–May 12, 2019) and “‘The Tale of Genji’: A Japanese Classic Illuminated” (March 5–June 16, 2019) welcomed 117,858 and 214,050, respectively. As of June 30, “Play It Loud: Instruments of Rock & Roll” had brought in 334,162 visitors since it opened on April 8; “The Roof Garden Commission: Alicja Kwade, ‘ParaPivot,’” has had 166,924 visitors since it opened on April 16; and “Camp: Notes on Fashion,” has had 298,720 visitors since it opened on May 9.
Exhibitions featuring The Met collection were also popular, with “History Refused to Die: Highlights from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation Gift”; “African American Portraits: Photographs from the 1940s and 1950s”; “Art of Native America: The Charles and Valerie Diker Collection”; “In Praise of Painting: Dutch Masterpieces at The Met”; “Jewelry: The Body Transformed,” and “Epic Abstraction: Pollock to Herrera” all bringing in large audiences.
The Met Cloisters drew 325,326 visitors in FY19, a record for the location that was fueled by the attendance for “Heavenly Bodies,” and The Met Breuer brought in over 326,392 visitors to exhibitions such as “Everything Is Connected: Art and Conspiracy”; “Odyssey: Jack Whitten Sculpture, 1963–2017”; “Lucio Fontana: On the Threshold”; “Siah Armajani: Follow This Line”; and “Obsession: Nudes by Klimt, Schiele, and Picasso from the Scofield Thayer Collection.”