New York—The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today that it welcomed more than 7.35 million visitors to its three locations—The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Cloisters, and The Met Breuer—in the fiscal year that ended on June 30 (FY18). It is the highest fiscal year attendance in the Museum’s recorded history and is due in large part to the record-breaking attendance for Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer, which was on view from November 13, 2017 through February 12, 2018 and brought in 702,516 visitors. The exhibition is now the 10th most attended show in the Museum’s history.
The Museum also announced that it brought in over $250 million in philanthropic gifts, Membership contributions, and government support, the highest amount in recent years. A highlight of the year was the exceptional gift of more than $80 million from Trustee Florence Irving and her late husband, Herbert Irving, the largest financial gift the Museum has received in recent history.
“The Met prides itself on serving the public through our collection, exhibitions, and education programs—all of which meet the highest possible standards,” said Daniel H. Weiss, President and CEO of the Museum. “Importantly, we’re gratified to recognize that these offerings not only resonate with our visitors but also inspire extraordinary support.”
The Museum also continues to be New York City’s most visited tourist attraction for domestic and international audiences. In FY18, international visitors accounted for 34% of the Museum’s attendees. The Met is also a popular destination for local visitors: 32% of the Museum’s visitors came from the five boroughs of New York City, and 13% were from the tri-state area outside of the City. Also in FY18, TripAdvisor named The Met its Travelers’ Choice for Best Museum in the World for an unprecedented third year in a row.
The Met offers tens of thousands of classes, programs, and activities each year. This year the Museum welcomed over 225,000 students in FY18, including more than 90,000 students and teachers from New York. The twice-yearly Teens Take The Met! event continues to bring in teens from New York City’s five boroughs—this past year over 5,000 in total, many of whom are visiting The Met for the first time. Day-long celebrations such as the World Culture Festival and Lunar New Year Festival welcomed nearly 6,500 visitors.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s website (metmuseum.org) ended FY18 with a total of 30.4 million visits, 32% of which were international. The pages of The Met’s online collection and the Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History continue to draw the most visits, with 8.4 million and 9.4 million respectively. In the second year of The Met’s Open Access policy—which made over 375,000 online collection images available for free and unrestricted use—The Met’s partnership with the Wikimedia community is enabling The Met collection to reach over 10 million users a month on Wikipedia.
The Museum’s social media reach continues to expand: currently its Twitter feed has more than 4.4 million followers (49% internationally); its Webby Award-winning Instagram has 2.5 million followers (66% internationally); and its Facebook account has more than 1.9 million (67% internationally). In addition, The Met has utilized Facebook Live to reach audiences in English, Spanish, Korean, Mandarin, and American Sign Language