The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced Thursday that 5.68 million people visited the Met during the fiscal year that ended on June 30. The number, which includes attendance at The Cloisters museum and gardens, is the highest recorded in 40 years. The total was more than 400,000 greater than in Fiscal Year 2010.
“We are delighted by this extraordinary response to our collections and programs, especially in the context of ongoing fiscal challenges faced by both the Museum and the public,” said Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO. “The Met is truly a museum of the world, and that scope is reflected in our collections and the remarkable range of visitors who come here each year. There is something for everyone within our galleries, and I have no doubt that we will continue to give audiences reasons to keep returning again and again.”
Visitors in Fiscal Year 2011 were particularly drawn to a number of special exhibitions, including the popular Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, which has welcomed more than 500,000 visitors since it opened on May 4. (The Museum has extended the exhibition by an extra week through August 7, and it will remain open to the public for extended hours until 9 p.m. beginning August 4. The exhibition will also open an hour early for Museum Members, beginning on July 22, every day except Mondays. Additionally, the Met Mondays with McQueen ticket program continues to offer additional hours on Mondays for special viewings when the Museum is otherwise closed to the public.)
Last summer’s highly attended exhibitions Picasso in The Metropolitan Museum of Art (April 27-August 15, 2010), which drew 703,256 visitors, and Doug + Mike Starn on the Roof: Big Bambú (April 27-October 31, 2010), which drew 631,064 visitors, also contributed to last year’s record attendance.
The 5.68 million attendance figure includes more than 214,000 New York City school visitors who were welcomed by the Museum, nearly 20,000 more than the previous year. Membership has now reached a record-breaking 139,800.
Additionally, the Museum’s website (www.metmuseum.org) had 47 million visits in Fiscal Year 2011, a 17.5 % increase over last year. The Museum’s Facebook page now has more than 500,000 fans, and its Twitter feed has more than 300,000 followers.