The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced this week that it welcomed 7 million visitors across its three locations—The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Cloisters, and The Met Breuer—in the fiscal year that ended on June 30 (FY17). The increase in attendance over the last fiscal year is due primarily to the influx of visitors to The Met Breuer, which saw a total of 505,590 visitors in FY17.
"The Met is thrilled to see our visitors responding so enthusiastically to our collection, exhibitions, and programs" said Daniel H. Weiss, President and CEO of The Met. "We're honored that so many people decided to spend their time with us this year."
The Museum also continues to be New York City's most visited tourist attraction for domestic and international audiences. In FY17, international visitors accounted for 37% of the Museum's attendees. The Met is also a popular destination for local visitors: 30% of the Museum's visitors came from the five boroughs of New York City, while 12% were from the tri-state area outside the City. Also in FY17, The Met was named TripAdvisor's Travelers' Choice for Best Museum in World, and The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer, and The Met Cloisters all won TripAdvisor Certificates of Excellence.
The varied and plentiful exhibition program at The Met drew steady audiences throughout the year. Exhibitions such as Jerusalem 1000–1400: Every People Under Heaven and Max Beckmann in New York each saw over 200,000 visitors, and Age of Empires: Chinese Art of the Qin and Han Dynasties (221 B.C.–A.D. 220) had nearly 300,000 visitors as of June 30 (the exhibition closes July 16). Recently opened spring exhibitions are also drawing strong attendance: as of June 30, Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between had brought in over 275,000 visitors since it opened on May 4; The Roof Garden Commission: Adrián Villar Rojas, The Theater of Disappearance had brought in over 190,000 visitors since April 14; and Irving Penn: Centennial had brought in over 180,000 since April 24.
Also contributing to the high attendance in FY17 were the final months of last summer's popular exhibitions Manus X Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology, which closed September 5, 2016, and attracted 752,995 visitors and The Roof Garden Commission: Cornelia Parker, Transitional Object (Psycho Barn), which closed October 31, 2016, and drew 586,105 visitors.
The Met Breuer also drew robust exhibition attendance in FY17 with diane arbus: in the beginning (176,281 visitors); Kerry James Marshall: Mastry (160,437 visitors); and the final months of Unfinished: Thoughts Left Visible (228,078 visitors from March 18 through September 4, 2016).
Education and Public Programs
The Met remains committed to reaching and engaging the broadest audience and making art and programs accessible to all. In FY17, the Museum welcomed 200,000 students, including more than 80,000 students and teachers from New York City and offered tens of thousands of classes, programs, and activities. The twice-yearly Teens Take The Met! event continues to bring in teens from New York City's five boroughs, this past year over 5,000 in total, many of whom are visiting The Met for the first time. And day-long celebrations such as the World Culture Festival and Lunar New Year Festival welcomed a total of over 6,000 visitors.
The Metropolitan Museum's website (metmuseum.org) ended FY17 with a total of 31 million visits, 35% of which were international. The pages of The Met's online collection and the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History continue to draw the most visits, with 8.3 million and 10.4 million respectively. The Met's new Open Access policy—which made over 375,000 online collection images available for free and unrestricted use—resulted in 94,000 downloads since the policy was announced in early February, an increase of 128% over the previous five month period.
The Museum's social media following has grown: its Twitter feed more than doubled to 3.3 million followers (47% international); its Webby Award-winning Instagram account grew to have over 2 million followers (68% international); and its Facebook account had more than 1.7 million (67% international) in FY17. The Met 360° Project—which presents videos on Facebook that allow viewers to explore iconic objects and spaces in the Museum from never-before-see perspectives—has proven to be extremely popular. The videos have won both a Webby and a Shorty Award, and so far garnered 11.5 million views and 451,000 interactions, including 22,000 comments.