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Over 7M Visit Met in 2018; Record Number for Iconic NYC Art Museum

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art 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. Photo Credit: Shutterstock

The Metropolitan Museum of Art 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, the tourism landmark said in a press release, was 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 museum said. “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.

Always 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, according to the statement. 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,” the release said. “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.”

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