The number is due in part to the record-breaking attendance for 'Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination', which attracted 1,659,647 visitors to The Met Fifth Avenue.
The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced that it welcomed 7.36 million visitors to its three locations—The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Cloisters, and The Met Breuer—in 2018, an increase over the 7 million it reported for 2017. The number is due in part to the record-breaking attendance for Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination,which attracted 1,659,647 visitors to The Met Fifth Avenue and The Met Cloisters during its run from May 10 to October 8. The final weeks of Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer, which was on view through February 12, 2018, and David Hockney, which closed on February 25, 2018, also contributed to the record number.
"We're delighted that so many people decided to spend their time at The Met in the last year," said Daniel H. Weiss, President and CEO of the Museum. "It's inspiring to know that New Yorkers and visitors from around the world are engaging with the vast array of exhibitions, programs, and activities we have available, and it's a wonderful tribute to the power of art in the world today. The Met's staff—curators, educators, scientists, conservators, and others—made remarkable contributions in 2018, and the team became even stronger this summer when we welcomed Max Hollein as our new director."
The record attendance closes out a year that included the implementation of an updated admissions policy that continues pay-as-you-wish admission for residents of New York State and students from New Jersey and Connecticut while requiring all other visitors to pay a mandatory admission fee (all children under 12 continue to receive complimentary admission). The revised admissions policy is part of a broader program to increase revenue at The Met through a variety of streams, including its retail and restaurant operations.
Continually one of New York City's most visited tourist attractions for domestic and international audiences, the Museum draws a wide range of visitors. In the fiscal year that ended on June 30, 2018, international tourists accounted for 34% of the Museum's visitors, with China providing some 14% of international tourists. Local visitors from the five boroughs of New York City made up 32% of the overall total, and 13% were from New York's tri-state area.