Museum Visitor Figures Bounce Back Following Disruptive COVID Pandemic


Following the uncertainty and disruption caused by lockdown due to the COVID-19 pandemic, gallerygoers are finally returning to exhibitions at major museums worldwide.

One hundred forty-one million visits to the top 100 art museums were recorded last year by TAN ( The Art Newspaper), a testament that business is back, not to pre-pandemic figures but optimistically something to shout about, nevertheless.

Musée du Louvre was still the top global attraction. They received 7,726,321 visitors in 2022, down 20% from the 9.6 million people who visited the institution in 2019. However, they were still ahead by 2.5 million over the Vatican Museums, who came in second. The Musée d’Orsay came sixth with 3.3 million visitors, 10% down in 2019. The Centre Pompidou came ninth with 3 million, just 8% down.

England weathered the storm reasonably well, with the British Museum in the (TAN) report coming in at number three while Tate Modern was number 4. However, The National Gallery came in at number 11, losing more visitors than any other museum (surveyed by TAN), with nearly 3.3 million fewer visitors in 2022. It was pushed out of the top 10 by the State Hermitage Museum.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art (Met Museum) in the upper east side of New York saw a significant fall in numbers. There were 1.7 million fewer visitors than in 2019, a 34% drop but with a $30 entrance fee; the museum doesn’t compete well against free Museums in other countries. Likewise, new York’s Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum saw a drop in visitors, at 42%, with 750,000 in 2022 compared to 1.3 million in 2019. The most visited museum in the US was the National Gallery of Art in Washington, DC, with almost 3.3 million visitors in 2022. MoMa came in at 17. Again the high cost of admission proved an obstacle.

Here Are The Top Twenty Global Museums

Museum Visitor Figures

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