Visitor figures reveal most popular museums and exhibitions around the globe in 2018

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27th March 2019 17:46 - Museums, Libraries and Archives

Visitor figures reveal most popular art museums and exhibitions around the globe in 2018: Research looking at the number of visitors to museums and galleries around the world in 2018 has revealed four UK favourites in the top ten.

Tate Modern, The British Museum, The National Gallery and The Victoria & Albert Museum all made the list, placed in 5th, 6th,7th and 10th positions respectively.

Taking the top spot and retaining its position on the previous year was Musée du Louvre in Paris recording 10,200,000 visitors in 2018, followed by National Museum of China (8,610,092), the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York (6,953,927) and Vatican Museums, Vatican City (6,756,186) all of which retained the same positioning as 2017.

UK Museums and Galleries

Despite being the most visited UK museum for nine years over the last decade, the British Museum dropped one place down from fifth to sixth position in 2018 with 5,820,000 visitors recorded, surpassed by Tate Modern with 5,868,562 visitors. 

In seventh position was The National Gallery with 5,735,831 visitors (up one place from last year) followed by eighth-place National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, US (4,404,212), State Hermitage, St Petersburg, Russia (4,220,000) and the V&A London (3,967,566).

When it came to the most popular exhibitions of 2018 no UK museums or galleries made the top 20.

Most popular global exhibitions 2018

The exhibition with the highest visitor numbers was Heavenly Bodies at the Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), with 10,919 through the doors daily and 1,659,647 over the course of the year.

In second position was Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer, also hosted at the Metropolitan Museum of Art with 7,893 daily visitors in the three months it was open to the public.

In third, was Do Ho Suh: Almost Home at the Smithsonian (SAAM), Washington DC (7,853 visits) while Masterpieces from Tate Britain at the Shanghai Museum ranked fourth with 7126 visitors daily.

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