Thursday, April 08, 2010

Top 30 art galleries and museums in 2009

In 2009, London ranked top in the world for cities where you can visit top ranking art galleries and museums.

I've worked this out from the annual visitor numbers to art galleries and museums around the world, as published in the The Art Newspaper's annual review of art galleries and museums and the exhibitions held around the world in 2009.

The full article is extremely detailed and for those interested in visiting exhibitions and museums and art galleries generally I recommend having a good read. You can find the article at Saatchi vs Banksy for most visited UK show in our annual attendance survey and also Download the complete table (PDF) which provides all the detailed numbers and rankings of museums and exhibitions.

The top 30 art galleries and museums in 2009

The Louvre Museum
photo copyright Katherine Tyrrell
The top art galleries and museums in 2009, based on their annual visitor numbers are as follows.

1. 8,500,000 Louvre Paris
2. 5,569,981 British Museum, London
3. 4,891,450 Metropolitan Museum of Art
4. 4,780,030 National Gallery, London
5. 4,747,537 Tate Modern, London
6. 4,605,606 National Gallery of Art, Washington
7. 3,530,000 Centre Pompidou, Paris
8. 3,022,012 Musée d'Orsay, Paris
9. 2,763,094 Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid
10. 2,730,204 National Museum of Korea, Seoul
11. 2,672,761 Museum of Modern Art, New York
12. 2,574,804 Taiwan Palace Museum, Taiwan
13. 2,426,203 State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg
14. 2,273,634 Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo
15. 2,269,900 Victoria and Albert Museum, London
16. 2,087,415 Reina Sofía, Madrid
17. 1,961,843 National Portrait Gallery, London
18. 1,846,889 Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
19. 1,840,812 De Young Museum, San Francisco
20. 1,572,171 Moscow Kremlin Museum, Moscow
21. 1,530,318 Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
22. 1,513,249 National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
23. 1,501,837 Tate Britain, London
24. 1,500,000 Mori Art Museum, Tokyo
25. 1,496,438 Musée Quai Branly, Paris
26. 1,451,139 Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
27. 1,368,096 Kelvingrove Art Gallery, Glasgow
28. 1,312,762 Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney
29. 1,300,000 Children's Museum, , Indianopolis
30. 1,283,401 State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow

The Louvre retains its top spot with its curious unchanging number of annual visitors. I can well believe it's top but it would be nice to know that somebody actually does do a formal count now and again.

The Top Cities to Visit


One of the tables which is missing from the Art newspapers analysis is one which looks at the numbers from the perspective of which cities have the top ranked museums. So I had a go at working it out based on the top 30 museums.

London is the top capital in the world for the number of top ranking museums. In fact it has 25% of the top 20 museums and art galleries in the world making it the number one top spot for visitors who enjoy visiting galleries and museums which cover the spectrum of the visual arts.

#2 British Museum, London
#4 National Gallery, London
#5 Tate Modern, London
#15 Victoria and Albert Museum, London
#17 National Portrait Gallery, London (also the top portrait gallery in the world)
#23 Tate Britain, London

Plus there's the Royal Academy of Arts and the Saatchi Gallery at #32 and #34 respectively.

Paris comes a close second

#1 The Louvre
#7 Centre Pompidou, Paris
#8. Musée d'Orsay, Paris
#25 Quai Branly, Paris

while New York comes third

#3 Metropolitan Museum of Art
#11 Museum of Modern Art, New York

and Madrid 4th

#9 Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid
#16 Reina Sofía, Madrid

and Tokyo ranks 5th

#14 Tokyo National Museum, Tokyo
#22 National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
#24 Mori Art Museum, Tokyo

I've updated my information site about the top museums and art galleries which you can find here - Top 10 art galleries and museums. This comments on how rankings changed between 2008 and 2009.

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