McQueen Show Among Top 10 Most Popular Exhibitions in Met’s History – WNYC Culture

  •  McQueen Show Among Top 10 Most Popular Exhibitions in Met’s History

Monday, August 08, 2011

Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty,” which closed at midnight on Sunday night, attracted 661,509 visitors since it opened on May 4, making it the eighth most popular exhibition in the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s 141-year history.

Alexander McQueen (British, 1969-2010) Dress, autumn/winter 2010. Alexander McQueen (British, 1969-2010) Dress, autumn/winter 2010. (Courtesy of The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Photograph © Sølve Sundsbø / Art + Commerce)

“Treasures of Tutankhamun” is the most popular show in the Met’s history. The exhibition attracted 1.36 million in the four months that it was open from 1978 to 1979. “Mona Lisa” attracted 1.08 visitors in the month it was open in 1963 and “The Vatican Collections: The Papacy and Art” brought in over 896,000 in the nearly three months it was open.

This year, the Met implemented many methods to accommodate the enormous interest and demand in the late British designer’s show, including opening “Savage Beauty” on Mondays, when the museum is normally closed, offering members early viewing hours, and extending the exhibition by one week and for the first time in its history, keeping the show open till midnight on its last weekend.

Although the show cost $50 to enter, the retrospective attracted more than 17,000 visitors on those eight Mondays. The Metropolitan Museum also received more than 23,000 new members during the run of “Savage Beauty,” which was more than twice the number of members this time last year.

Museum products featuring Alexander McQueen also sold well. The exhibition catalogue has sold over 100,000 copies to date. Other exhibition souvenirs, such as armadillo shoe ornaments, crystal skull paperweights and tartan purses, sold out several times over and were reordered repeatedly.

“Savage Beauty” could not be extended any longer because the galleries are needed for the preparation for the next exhibition coming in September, “Wonder of the Age: Master Painters of India, 1100-1900.

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