UK publication The Art Newspaper has released its latest survey of global art museum attendance, with the National Gallery of Victoria edging its way into the top 20 most-visited galleries in the world.
In 2015, the NGV was number 21, but for 2016 moved up to number 19, with 2.6 million visitors across its two locations on St Kilda Road and in Federation Square. The gallery’s attendance has been sharply increasing over the last few years, with just over 2 million in 2014, 2.4 million in 2015, before reaching last year’s high of 2.6 million.
Last year’s success is due largely to the record-breaking Andy Warhol/Ai Weiwei summer exhibition and the Melbourne Winter Masterpieces exhibition Degas: A New Vision.
The top spot in the 2016 survey was taken by Paris’s Musée du Louvre, with the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York following in second place.
The survey also revealed that Melbourne-based artist Patricia Piccinini, perhaps best-known for her controversial inflatable work Skywhale, had the second-most visited exhibition in the world in 2016. Her free exhibition free exhibition Consciousness at Rio de Janeiro’s Centro Cultural Banco do Brasil attracted 444,425 visitors.
In a statement, Victoria’s Creative Industries Minister Martin Foley said: “It’s no mean feat for a gallery in a city with a relatively small population to be ranked among the top museums on earth. It’s something all Victorians – as the owners of the NGV – can be proud of.”
“These fantastic results show that Victoria is truly the creative state and once again illustrate the leadership role our creative sector plays, both nationally and globally.”