2010 Top Art Museums

Mark WalhimerMuseum Planning, Top 10 Art Museums, Top 10 Lists Leave a Comment


2010 Top Art Museum Attendance – Worldwide
Attendance     Museum, Location
1.  8,500,000     Louvre, Paris
2.  5,842,138     British Museum, London
3.  5,216,988     Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
4.  5,061,172     Tate Modern, London
5.  4,954,914     National Gallery, London
6.  4,775,114     National Gallery of Art, Washington D.C.
7.  3,131,238     Museum of Modern Art, New York
8.  3,130,000     Centre Pompidou, Paris
9.  3,067,909     National Museum of Korea, Seoul
10.  2,985,510     Musée d’Orsay, Paris
2010 Top Art Museum Attendance – United States
Attendance     Museum, Location
1.  5,216,988     Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
2.  4,775,114      National Gallery of Art, Washington
3.  3,131,238      Museum of Modern Art, New York
4.  2,043,854      De Young Museum, San Francisco
5.  1,612,780      Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
6.  1,205,685     *Getty Center (Getty Museum), Los Angeles
7.  1,144,494      National Portrait Gallery, Washington D.C.
8.  1,125,000      Museum of Fine Arts, Houston
9.  1,105,352      Guggenheim, New York
10.  1,100,000      Smithsonian American Art Museum, D.C.

 Getty listed as Getty Center Only (Getty Center: 1,205,685 visitors; Getty Villa: 405,710 visitors)

2010 Top Art Exhibition Attendance – Worldwide

1.881,520“Rising Currents: Projects for NY’s Waterfront”, Museum of Modern Art, New York
2.837,200“Abstract America: New Painting and Sculpture”, Saatchi Gallery, London
3.777,551“Post-Impressionism: from the Musée d’Orsay”, National Art Center Tokyo, Tokyo
4.749,638“The Original Copy: Photography of Sculpture”, Museum of Modern Art, New York
5.703,256“Picasso in the Metropolitan Museum of Art”, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
6.631,064“Doug & Mike Starn on the Roof: Big Bambú”, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
7.601,284“Anish Kapoor”, Guggenheim, Bilbao
8.595,346“Van Gogh: the Adventure of Becoming an Artist”, National Art Center Tokyo, Tokyo
9.586,000“Christo and Jeanne-Claude”, Smithsonian American Art Museum, Washington, D.C.
10.582,665“Robert Rauschenberg: Gluts”, Guggenheim, Bilbao


I am becoming more interested in comparing “bricks and mortar” museum attendance as compared to the on line museum experience.  As a first step, researched top Art Museum attendance and Art Museum exhibition attendance. As next steps I will create similar attendance information for Science Centers, Children’s Museums, Natural History Museums and Corporate Museums and compare their attendance to their online visitation.


Three 2010 exhibitions were not included as the exhibitions opened in 2009;
2,926,232“Designing the Lincoln Memorial”               National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.Feb 12, 2009 –      Apr 4, 2010
755,850“Harmony and Integrity: Yongzheng Emperor” National Palace Museum, TaipeiOct 7, 2009 –        Jan 10, 2010
644,975“Falnama: the Book of Omens”                     Freer and Sackler Galleries, Washington, D.C.Oct 24, 2009 –       Jan 24, 2010

Data used was supplied by the museums.  Many museums have one ticket for the entire museum and cannot provide individual attendance for temporary exhibitions. Institutions offering a number of exhibitions for a single ticket, are shown as one entry. Institutions with more than one building included separate museum attendance figures for each venue.

Data Source:
The Art Newspaper, April 2011, “Exhibition & Museum Attendance Figures 2010”

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