Metropolitan Museum of Art Reports Record 6.3 Million Visitors Last Year

The Met's Young Members party in 2014. Photo courtesy the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art reported record attendance of 6.3 million visitors last year, the highest number since the institution began tracking statistics more than 40 years ago.

Figures were boosted by strong international tourism, a run of well-attended shows, and a grueling seven-days-a-week operating schedule.

The Met said it was the fourth straight year that attendance topped six million. (Its fiscal year ended June 30.) This year’s total was further boosted by the popularity of the Costume Institute show “China: Through The Looking Glass,” which examined the influence of China on Western fashion and drew more than 350,000 visitors.

Gong Li. Photo:  Clint Spaulding/ Patrick McMullan.

Gong Li at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute opening.
Photo: Courtesy of Clint Spaulding/ Patrick McMullan.

The Met’s total attendance also includes visitors to the Cloisters, its medieval European branch housed in Washington Heights.

Other statistics that reflect the Met’s status as a cultural beacon: in the past year, 20 shows drew more than 100,000 visitors each; and the percentage of international visitors increased to 38 percent of overall attendance, up from 36 percent in the previous year.

Museum officials said the average amount that visitors paid under its suggested $25-per-person admissions policy dropped, though it would not release specific figures. Spokesman Harold Holzer told the New York Times the average was “10 dollars and change,” down from about $11 in recent years.

Met director Thomas Campell said the attendance figures reflected “ongoing enthusiasm for the Met’s exhibitions, collections and programs.” The museum will further expand these when it opens its modern and contemporary outpost in March in the former home of the Whitney Museum of American Art on 75th and Madison.

In May, the Whitney Museum moved to a custom built building, designed by architect Renzo Piano, that opened on the Hudson River in the Meatpacking District.

B4MKC0 New York City, The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Main entrance exterior on Fifth Avenue.. Image shot 2006. Exact date unknown.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
Photo: Courtesy of the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

For related coverage, see:

Met Museum Summer Visitors Spent $753 Million in New York

Rubens Painting Cast Off by Met As a Copy Found to Be Real

Does the New Whitney Herald A Golden Age for New York Institutions?

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