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The Art Newspaper Releases Museum Figures for 2017

The exclusive annual survey of museum and gallery attendance is out, and the results are both surprising and encouraging. One major surprise: of the 20 most visited museum exhibitions in the world last year, based on daily attendance numbers, only one (“Robert Rauschenberg: Amongst Friends”, at MoMA) was located in New York. Only four were in Paris – the same number in Bilbao (thanks entirely to the Guggenheim).
The city that topped the list with five of the most visited exhibitions was Tokyo. Three different Tokyo museums made the list, with the city also securing three spots in the top five. “Unkei: the Great Master of Buddhist Sculpture”, at the Tokyo National Museum, attracted an astonishing 11,268 visitors per day, more than double the number of daily visitors to that Rauschenberg show in NYC.
The annual report does not only give data – it also offers anecdotal advice for those looking to put that data to work. For example, if you happen to be looking to boost attendance at your museum or gallery, look to the interview with Sophie Makariou, director of the Musée national des Arts Asiatiques – Guimet, formerly called the Musée Guimet. In addition to changing the name of this museum, she has nearly doubled yearly attendance through simple changes such as a new logo, an Instagram account, and by adding free DJ concerts on weekends in the courtyard. (View the entire report here.)

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