Turner to Monet draws largest crowd of any exhibition to date
The Blanton Museum of Art saw a record number of visitors to its Turner to Monet: Masterpieces from The Walters Art Museum, exhibition which closed on January 2, 2011. The exhibition of nineteenth-century paintings, including those by much-loved Impressionists Monet, Degas, and Pissarro, was on loan to The Blanton from The Walters Art Museum in Baltimore from October 2, 2010 – January 2, 2011.
Total attendance was 60,000 visitors, with over 12,000 alone in the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day. (The museum’s second most popular exhibition, Birth of the Cool, saw 4,870 during its closing week.) The only week with more visitors was the grand opening of the new Blanton which saw 22,000 people in a seven day period.
Projections for attendance were not the only goals surpassed. The Blanton Museum Shop and The Blanton Café both reported strong earnings during the run of the exhibition. In fact, the shop saw an increase of 92 % over last year’s sales for the same period. Public programs during the exhibition, including B scene, the museum’s bi-monthly art party, and its free Third Thursdays saw an increase in attendance as well.
Often challenged in the fall due to home football games and competition from ACL and the Texas Book Festival, Blanton visitors attended the exhibition at a steady rate. The museum partnered with many local organizations to cross promote and to bring special incentives to the community, including discounts at Bess Bistro, East Side Showroom, and more, and to performances at various theaters and venues.