The MET museum broke records for both attendance and finances in the fiscal year ending on June 30, 2018, announced the museum. The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced saw over 7.35 million visitors to its three locations—The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Cloisters, and The Met Breuer, according to the museum. This is the highest fiscal year attendance in the museum's recorded history and was attributed to record-breaking attendance for the exhibition "Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer."
Presented from November 13, 2017 to February 12, 2018, the show brought in 702,516 visitors, according to the museum, making it the 10th most attended show in the museum's history. Other exhibitions that drew crowds include "Cristobal de Villalpando: Mexican Painter of the Baroque," logging attendance of 256,339, and "David Hockney," drawing 363,877 visitors.
On track to break attendance records is The Costume Institute's "Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination." Opening on May 10, 2018, the show is on at The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters through October 8, 2018 and is on track to be one of the Museum's highest attended exhibitions in its history, according to The Met.
So far, the exhibition has drawn more than 500,000 visitors to The Met Fifth Avenue, and an additional 70,000 have visited The Met Cloisters—a 40% increase over the same time period last year, reported the museum.
Also popular were last summer's "Rei Kawakubo/Comme des Garçons: Art of the In-Between," which attracted 558,006 visitors, and The Roof Garden Commission: Adrián Villar Rojas, The Theater of Disappearance, which drew 510,946 visitors,.
On the fiscal side, The Met received over $250 million in philanthropic gifts, membership contributions and government support, representing the highest amount in recent years. A highlight was a gift of over $80 million from Trustee Florence Irving and her late husband, Herbert Irving, the largest financial gift the Museum has received in recent history.
The Museum also continues to be New York City's most visited tourist attraction for domestic and international audiences. International visitors accounted for 34% of total attendance with 32% living in New York City and 13% from the New York Metorpolitan outside of New York City.
The Met instituted its new policy requiring set admission prices for visitors living outside of New York State on March 1, 2018. Its "pay as you wish" policy continues for New Y0rk State residents and students in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut with proof of residency. Mandatory admission is $25 for adults, $17 for seniors and $12 for students. Admission for all children under 12 years old along with museum members and patrons are free. Full-priced admission tickets are good for three consecutive days at The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Breuer and The Met Cloisters.
The museum made the change to counteract a growing deficit and stabilize income streams needed to sustain the museum. Last year, The Met's three museums drew seven million visitors with an average ticket donation of $9 under the "pay as you wish" policy, according to Fortune magazine.
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