Brazil’s 2011 exhibition boom puts Rio on top

Posted filed underBrazil, Business, Museums.

Escher worked his magic in Rio, McQueen reigned supreme in New York, but Tokyo hit by after-effects of earthquake in the annual worldwide survey from The Art Newspaper: “When we be­gan our annual sur­vey of the best at­tended exhibitions in 1996, to make the top ten a show needed to attract around 3,000 visitors a day. In our survey of 2011 shows, to make the top ten required almost 7,000 visitors a day. Among them was “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty”, a posthumous tribute by the Costume Institute of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York. On average, more than 8,000 people a day went (in total around 660,000). The must-see show helped the Met to a record year in our survey, taking its annual total figure to more than six million, up from 5.2 million in 2010.

The increase in the number of people going to see the exhibitions in our surveys over the years has been remarkable. In 1996, around four million people went to the top ten shows. Last year almost six million people went to see the ten best-attended shows (even more if you include our “big ticket” category, see the full pdf).

Rather than a US, European or Japanese institution, a Brazilian one, the Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil’s (CCBB) Rio de Janeiro space, comes top. The former bank building in the city’s centre hosted no less than three exhibitions that have made the top ten. All were free (indicated by an asterisk in the table), with “The Magical World of Escher” being the most popular (9,700 visitors a day).

Brazil’s appetite for contemporary art is remarkable. The Brazilian mining billionaire Bernardo Paz’s massive art park, Inhotim, in a remote part of southeast Brazil, attracted around 770,000 visitors in total. Laurie Anderson at the CCBB in Rio attracted 6,930 visitors a day, and slightly more enjoyed work by the New York-based artist Mariko Mori (6,990 a day) at the same venue.”

Read on at The Art Newspaper