Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Top 30 art galleries and museums in 2010

The Art Newspaper recently published its annual review of visitor numbers to art exhibitions and art galleries and museums in 2010.  I'm going to provide my digest and commentary on this information in this and tomorrow's post.

I incline towards the view that the total museum numbers are probably more accurate than the exhibition numbers since there are so very many different ways tickets are sold and visitors are counted for exhibitions.  Hence commentary on exhibitions comes later.

The top 30 art galleries and museums in 2010

The top 30 art galleries and museums in 2010, based on their annual visitor numbers are as follows.  The list below includes the ranked position (which I added in!), the number of visitors, the name of the museum, and the city that the museum is located in.

1.   8,500,000 Louvre Paris
2.   5,842,138 British Museum, London
3.   5,216,988 Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
4.   5,061,172 Tate Modern, London
5.   4,954,914 National Gallery, London
6.   4,775,114 National Gallery of Art, Washington
7.   3,131,238 Museum of Modern Art, New York
8.   3,530,000 Centre Pompidou, Paris
9.   3,067,909 National Museum of Korea, Seoul
10. 2,985,510 Musée d'Orsay, Paris

11. 2,732,000 Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid
12. 2,269,900 Victoria and Albert Museum, London
13. 2,426,203 State Hermitage Museum, St Petersburg
14. 2,317,772 Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio
15. 2,313,532 Museo Reina Sofía, Madrid
16. 2,043,854 De Young Museum, San Francisco
17. 2,273,634 Tokyo National Art Centre, Tokyo
18. 1,819,442 National Portrait Gallery, London
19. 1,665,291 Tate Britain, London
20. 1,651,210 Galleria degli Uffizi, Florence
21. 1,612,780 Art Institute of Chicago, Chicago
22. 1,491,582 Gyeongju National Museum, Gyeongju
23. 1,429,854 Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
24, 1,369,187 Museo Picasso, Barcelona
25. 1,355,720 Acropolis Museum, Athens
26. 1,326,153 Musée Quai Branly, Paris
27. 1,300,000 Palazzo Reale, Milan
28. 1,297,424 State Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow
29. 1,286,733 Residenzschloss, Dresden
30. 1,271,174 Saatchi Gallery, London
Source: THE ART NEWSPAPER, From issue 223, April 2010
Published online 29 Mar 11 (Museums)
The Louvre retains its top spot with its curious unchanging number of annual visitors.  I can well believe it's top given its size and the number of visitors it gets - but it would be nice to know that somebody actually does do a formal count now and again. How exactly it away with declaring identical visitors numbers - 8.5 million visitors per annum - three years on the trot, is anybody's guess!  One would have thought that the museum occupying the top spot would have needed to provide verified figures!  Or maybe being able to count the distance between the Louvre and its nearest competitor in millions means it doesn't need to be too accurate?

I'm guessing that the Louvre count will need to get better before the new extension being built as part of the Tate Modern Project opens as that is expected to considerably increase the number of visitors to that museum.  At present Tate Modern is always heaving with visitors whenever I go - so more space is bound to mean mean yet more visitors over and above the five million who turn up each year!
Tate Modern was designed for an annual audience of 2 million visitors. It now receives around 5 million visitors each year. This success has put pressure on our existing facilities and programme.
Tate Modern from the Millenium Bridge
According to the Art Newspaper, these are the top 30 most popular art museums in the world in 2010 based on the total number of visitors.

The major mover is the Museum of Modern Art in New York which enters the top 10. Highest new entry in the top 30 is Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil, Rio. Lots of changes near the bottom of the list where other new entries are: Gyeongju National Museum, Gyeongju; Acropolis Museum, Athens; Palazzo Reale, Milan; Residenzschloss, Dresden and Saatchi Gallery, London

I've updated my resources for art lovers site - Top 10 Art Galleries and Museums with this information.  This provides links to the websites of the top 10 museums and their social networking sites.

The top cities for art galleries

On the basis of the Art News paper tabulation, the top cities to go to see the best art are:

London - which has a total of nine art museums and galleries in the top 102 in the world - way more than any other capital city.  Said with a smile on my face because London is of course where I live and I can get to all of these in under 45 minutes.

#2.    British Museum, London
#4.    Tate Modern, London
#5.    National Gallery, London
#12.  Victoria and Albert Museum
#18.  National Portrait Gallery
#19.  Tate Britain
#30.  Saatchi Gallery
#46.  Royal Academy of Arts
#68.  Serpentine Gallery

Paris continues to be a close second - with the emphasis being on quality rather than quantity.  The Musée d'Orsay started a renovation of its Impressionist and Post-Impressionist Galleries at the end of 2009 which will continue through 2010, so hanging on to the #10 slot is remarkable!  The Gallery will be back to normal in 2011 although I can't identify a planned date for that as yet.  The Musee Picasso is also still closed but will reopen soon one hopes.

#1    The Louvre
#6    Centre Pompidou, Paris
#10. Musée d'Orsay, Paris
#26  Quai Branly, Paris
#55  Musee d'Art Moderne de la Ville

while New York comes third

#3    Metropolitan Museum of Art
#7    Museum of Modern Art, New York
#39  Guggenheim Musem

and Madrid 4th.  Spain is stronger in the European context in terms of representation of regional museums with the Museu Picasso (#24) in Barcelona and Guggenheim (#51) in Bilbao.

#11  Museo Nacional del Prado, Madrid
#15  Reina Sofía, Madrid
#61  Museo Thyssen Bornemisza

and Tokyo ranks 5th.  Its museums have dropped significantly in ranking terms this year.

#17 National Art Center, Tokyo
#31 Tokyo National MuseumTokyo
#93  National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
#102  National Mudeum of Modern Art

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.

I should add that today seems to have been designated by somebody as Why I love Museums Day - and you'll see a lot of tweets with  Day as the hashtag!

So why not retweet this post and say which museum you like the best?!

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