Banksy in Bristol
Some may find this hard to believe but the Banksy exhibition last year in Bristol’s City Museum and Art Gallery made it into the top 30 exhibitions visited anywhere in the world.
That isn’t to belittle Bristol but to show what an achievement it was. It was up against capital cities with vastly bigger populations from which to draw visitors. In fact only one other exhibition in the UK drew more visitors, one on Chinese new art which was held at the Saatchi Gallery in London. Greater London’s population is about twenty times more than that of Bristol yet the Chinese exhibition attracted only about 280 more visitors per day than the Banksy one. And because of the nature of Banksy’s work, the exhibition couldn’t be publicised in advance.
The list is drawn up by “The Art Newspaper” which looked at exhibitions throughout the world. The Tokyo National Museum had the highest number of daily visitors for an exhibition; 15,960 who saw treasures from the Kohfukuji Temple and another Japanese museum, the Nara National Museum had the second highest volume of daily attendees. The highest placed European exhibition was the Musee Quai Branly in Paris where there was an international photographic exhibition and they received 7,868 visitors per day.
As for the most visited museums in the world, location plays a key with all top 10 being in cities with very large populations. London and Paris both had 3 museums in the top 10 those being the British Museum, the National Gallery and Tate Modern in London and the Louvre, Centre Pompidou and the Musee d’Orsay in Paris.
So how will Bristol compete in 2010? It has Art from the New World which opens on May 1st. Described as a big brash exhibition, it continues in part with the last year’s theme by having a street artist, Buff Monster, painting museum walls before the show opens.