David Bowie Exhibition Smashes Museum Records

For its only U.S stop, the traveling retrospective “David Bowie Is” at the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago didn’t do too shabby.

More than 193,000 people visited the museum during the show’s 15-week run (September 23, 2014–January 4, 2015)—the largest attendance record for the museum to date. Besides amping up attendance numbers, the show’s run also created the highest sales for the MCA store with the addition of Bowie-themed product.

“We brought this exhibition to the MCA because it was an ideal bridge to connect with new audiences who are interested in the multidisciplinary arts that have always been a hallmark for the museum,” the museum’s Pritzker director Madeleine Grynsztejn said in a statement. “We are thrilled that so many people from around the country visited us for the first time, and we are especially proud of the enthusiasm and support we had in Chicago, where members of the community had a chance to rediscover MCA.”

During the exhibition, not only did MCA organize corresponding sold-out programs—with cultural figures such as Kevin Barnes, Todd Haynes, and Sandy Powell—but local restaurants, hotels, and venues held Bowie-inspired events; people regularly visited the museum in Bowie-clad attire, and a record-smashing 52 million Twitter accounts hashtagged #DavidBowieIs.

The exhibition continues it’s international tour with stops at the Philharmonie de Paris, Cité de la Musique in Paris (March–May 2015), the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne (July–November 2015), and the Groniger Museum in the Netherlands (December 2015–March 2016).

Follow Artnet News on Facebook:

Want to stay ahead of the art world? Subscribe to our newsletter to get the breaking news, eye-opening interviews, and incisive critical takes that drive the conversation forward.
Article topics