British Museums are still top of the leagues for the most visited in the world, taking three out of the first five positions globally for the second year. Only the Louvre in Paris and the Metropolitan in New York Ranked higher, scoring the first and second place.
Tate Modern had a great year with the 2012 London Olympic Games. It moved up one place to fourth, ahead of the National Gallery with 5.3m visitors. This was up from 4.8m in 2011. 2,912 people a day paid to see the Damien Hirst retrospective and two million viewed performance art and video installations at the Tanks. Alex Beard, deputy director at the Tate said; “It has been an extraordinary year at Tate Modern, opening the world’s first museum galleries permanently dedicated to exhibiting live art, performance, installation and film works alongside an outstanding exhibition programme which has undoubtedly fuelled the increase in visitors.”
The Louvre in Paris saw 9.7 million people enter the doors more than a million more than 2011. This was increased by the museum’s new Islamic art wing. The Metropolitan Museum was the second most-visited institution, with three London museums taking the third, fourth and fifth spots.
Dutch Old Masters at Tokyo’s Metropolitan Art Museum took the top spot for most visited exhibitions. The show included Vermeer’s 1665 painting Girl with a Pearl Earring which brought 10,500 visitors a day to the Tokyo gallery between June and September 2012.
Rio’s Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil appeared three times on the top exhibition list with The Amazon: Cycles of Modernity in second place with 7,928 daily visitors, Antony Gormley’s Still Being, at seven with 6,909 daily visitors and India at 11 with 6,347 daily visitors.
Leonardo at the National Gallery was the most popular exhibition featuring Old Master works in the UK. It was visited by 3,985 paying customers a day. This would have seen a far larger attendance but visitor numbers were restricted to protect the works of art from overcrowding.
David Hockney’s A Bigger Picture attracted 7,512 daily visitors to the Royal Academy It was the fifth most-visited exhibition in the world. Gallery hours were extended in the final weeks to accommodate the unprecedented demand.