NEW YORK. The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced on January 4 that it welcomed 7.36 million visitors to its three locations: The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Cloisters, and The Met Breuer, in 2018, an increase over the 7 million it reported for 2017. The number is due in part to the record-breaking attendance for Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination, which attracted 1,659,647 visitors to The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters during its run from May 10 to October 8. The final weeks of Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer, which was on view through February 12, 2018, and David Hockney, which closed on February 25, 2018, also contributed to the record number.
„We’re delighted that so many people decided to spend their time at The Met in the last year,” said Daniel H. Weiss, President and CEO of the Museum. „It’s inspiring to know that New Yorkers and visitors from around the world are engaging with the vast array of exhibitions, programs, and activities we have available, and it’s a wonderful tribute to the power of art in the world today. The Met’s staff – curators, educators, scientists, conservators, and others – made remarkable contributions in 2018, and the team became even stronger this summer when we welcomed Max Hollein as our new director.“
The record attendance closes out a year that included the implementation of an updated admissions policy that continues pay-as-you-wish admission for residents of New York State and students from New Jersey and Connecticut while requiring all other visitors to pay a mandatory admission fee (all children under 12 continue to receive complimentary admission). The revised admissions policy is part of a broader program to increase revenue at The Met through a variety of streams, including its retail and restaurant operations.
Continually one of New York City’s most visited tourist attractions for domestic and international audiences, the Museum draws a wide range of visitors. In the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2018, international tourists accounted for 34% of the Museum’s visitors, with China providing some 14% of international tourists. Local visitors from the five boroughs of New York City made up 32% of the overall total, and 13% were from New York’s tri-state area.
Exhibitions that drew high numbers of visitors to the Museum in 2018 include The Roof Garden Commission: Huma Bhabha, We Come In Peace, with 383,714 visitors; Public Parks, Private Gardens: Paris to Provence, with 261,235; Visitors to Versailles (1682-1789), with 227,271; and History Refused to Die: Highlights from the Souls Grown Deep Foundation Gift, with 172,988. Delacroix, which closes on January 6, and Armenia!, which closes on January 13, have so far seen 329,291 and 200,235 visitors, respectively. Jewelry: The Body Transformed has brought in 134,102 visitors since it opened on November 12, 2018. In early 2018, Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer closed with 702,516 visitors, and David Hockney closed with 363,877 visitors.
The Met Cloisters, the northern Manhattan branch of the Museum, drew 350,000 visitors in 2018, a record for the location that was fueled by the Heavenly Bodies attendance, and The Met Breuer brought in over 400,000 to exhibitions such as Everything Is Connected: Art and Conspiracy; Odyssey: Jack Whitten Sculpture, 1963-2017; Like Life: Sculpture, Color, and the Body (1300-Now); and Obsession: Nudes by Klimt, Schiele, and Picasso from the Scofield Thayer Collection.
Education and Public Programs
The Met offers tens of thousands of classes, programs, and activities each year. The twice-yearly Teens Take The Met! event brought in over 5,600 teens from across the five boroughs, and daylong celebrations for families such as the World Culture Festival and Lunar New Year Festival, welcomed over 8,000 visitors.
The Met’s website (metmuseum.org) had a total of 31.2 million visits in 2018. The Museum’s social media reach is broad: its Twitter feed has more than 4.3 million followers; its Webby Award-winning Instagram has 2.7 million followers; and its Facebook account has more than 1.9 million.
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About The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Met presents over 5,000 years of art from around the world for everyone to experience and enjoy. The Museum lives in three iconic sites in New York City: The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer, and The Met Cloisters. Millions of people also take part in The Met experience online.
Since it was founded in 1870, The Met has always aspired to be more than a treasury of rare and beautiful objects. Every day, art comes alive in the Museum‘s galleries and through its exhibitions and events, revealing both new ideas and unexpected connections across time and across cultures.