Tuesday, March 02, 2010

The top ten art galleries and museums

A little while ago I read on Bloomberg about a survey which identified the top ten art galleries and museums - in terms of the number of visitors they got. Or rather it identified most of them and I had to work out the rest!

I've now created a new "resources for art lovers" website which lists the top ten art galleries and museums and provides a link to each of the museum websites - see Top 10 art galleries and museums

I think many people may be surprised by the order. I have to emphasise I'm not certain about the numbers 8 to 10 but am clear what was listed above that.

So who knew that London was the city with the most art galleries and museums in the top 10 - and how lucky am I to live in London?! :)

What I also discovered during my research is just how few art galleries and museums list their visitor numbers in their annual reports - and that's if they've put their annual report on the website in the first place. To my mind it's a key indicator of effectiveness in terms of commmunicating the value of the contents to the public - and I simply don't understand why it's not there. Unless it's because some don't want to admit how few visitors they get? Given that most of the major museums get some considerable help in terms of public funds I'm fairly appalled by this state of affairs.

There are some quirky issues - such as the Centre Pompidou is not just a museum and I don't think anybody can extract figures just for the museum part. Plus the four Tate Museums (Modern, Britain, Liverpool and St Ives) would come second with over seven million visitors if counted as one museum. I'm planning to do some more research on this in future and I'm toying with the idea of developing a suite of performance indicator information based on data in the public domain - or data which should be!

The website also lists articles about visiting museums and art galleries and I'm intending to develop it:
  • as a resource which provides links to major museums in different countries.
  • by identifying other helpful links related to the top 10 art galleries and museums.
Do let me know what you think about it - I'd love to know if there were any surprises for you.

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