Tut is Golden for DMA; Highest Attendance in 2008

That funky Tut is the DMA's new golden boy.

The Dallas Museum of Art said in a press release (included below) that attendance grew to the highest ever levels in 2008, likely due to the boy king's exhibition.

Read all the details in this press release:

The Dallas Museum of Art reached historical highs in attendance and membership in 2008, thanks to the opening of a groundbreaking new education facility and ambitious schedule of major exhibitions and new programs. Museum attendance, which had increased by 100% over the past five years, soared in 2008 to include over 766,000 visitors, highest number on record for the DMA. In addition, six thousand new members joined last year, marking a 25% increase and bringing the DMA’s membership total to over 25,000 (households/people).

This year’s success can be attributed in part to the Museum’s presentation of “Tutankhamen and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs,” which marks the first time that treasures from the tomb of King Tutankhamen – the greatest archaeological find of the 20th century – have been seen in the Southwest. To date, more than 350,000 tickets have been sold to the exhibition, which opened on October 3 and runs through May 17, 2009, already making it the DMA’s most-visited exhibition in the Museum’s 100-year history. More than 290,000 visitors have seen the exhibit in the first three months of its seven-and-a-half-month run. In addition, December attendance to the King Tut exhibition was over 60,000 during the two-week year-end holiday, from December 20 through January 4, surpassing previously established holiday season records.

2008 also marked the opening of the DMA’s new Center for Creative Connections, a dynamic and interactive education center that allows visitors to experience works of art from the Museum’s collections in new and innovative ways. Located at the core of the Museum on the first level, C3 is a nationally recognized model for engaging audiences with works of art and has been a magnet for the community, with more than 10,000 people visiting it each month.

ldquo;2008 was a remarkable year for the Museum,” said Bonnie Pitman, The Eugene McDermott Director of the Dallas Museum of Art. “We had a strong and diverse program of exhibitions—ranging from the treasures of ancient Egypt to 19th-century oil-on-canvas masterpieces to visually stunning installations of contemporary art—and we launched a new model for arts education, providing our visitors with new ways to interact and experience art from our collections and from the world over.”

In addition, the DMA presented two other major traveling exhibitions in 2008, both of which Time magazine named to its annual Top Ten list. First was the February opening of J. M. W. Turner—a once-in-a-lifetime presentation of paintings by one of the greatest landscape painters in the history of art that visited only three U.S. venues. Over 91,000 visitors attended the Turner show in Dallas, which was co-organized by the Museum in conjunction with the National Gallery of Art, Washington and the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, in association with Tate Britain, London.

In November, the DMA presented Take your time: Olafur Eliasson, the first major U.S. survey of works by the internationally acclaimed artist, which also included the debut of a work that had yet to be seen in the U.S. as part of the exhibit’s tour. To date, over 30,000 visitors have seen this show, which runs through March 15, 2009.

Alongside the Museum’s ambitious exhibition schedule and new education facilities, the DMA’s public programs continue to engage a broad community of visitors, with over half of all visitors participating in some type of programming at the Museum. Now in its sixth year, Late Nights at the Dallas Museum of Art Presented by Starbucks Coffee welcomed over 53,000 visitors of all ages to the Museum, a 10 % increase over 2007. Regular programming such as Jazz in the Atrium on Thursday nights and Jazz Under the Stars during the summer, First Tuesdays with free general admission to the Museum and interactive family activities, the Arts and Letters Live literary series, and weekly Gallery Talks also drew visitors to the DMA this year.

Information from Dallas Museum of Art Press Release

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