DALLAS, TX.- The Dallas Museum of Art this fiscal year reached historical highs in attendance, thanks to several major exhibitions and other popular Museum-hosted programs, such as Late Nights and the annual free summer concert, which this year featured multi-Grammy Awardwinning artist Erykah Badu.
Final attendance figures for fiscal year 2007 were 641,000, a 92 percent increase since fiscal year 2002. Much of this years success is attributed to exhibitions, such as Van Goghs Sheaves of Wheat and Fast Forward: Contemporary Collections for the Dallas Museum of Art, which each had approximately 130,000 visitors to the DMA. Van Goghs Sheaves of Wheat presented the largest collection of van Goghs works displayed in the Southwest in 40 years. The exhibition focused on themes of agriculture and labor from Van Goghs Sheaves of Wheat painting, which is part of the DMAs permanent Wendy and Emery Reves Collection. Works by late 19th-century artists such as Paul Gauguin, Jean-François Millet and Camille Pissarro were also featured.
Adding a local element to the DMAs stellar exhibition lineup this year was the Fast Forward: Contemporary Collections for the Dallas Museum of Art exhibition, a collection of over 300 works from the modern and contemporary holdings of the Hoffman, Rachofsky and Rose families, who together gifted their private collections and future acquisitions to the Museum in 2005. The exhibit was the first opportunity for the public to view these once-private collections in a comprehensive manner.
Also hugely successful in 2007 were the exhibitions From the Ashes of Vesuvius and Matisse: Painter as Sculptor. Nearly 60,000 visitors attended the From the Ashes of Vesuvius exhibit, which featured a collection of 72 archaeological objects recovered from the excavation site at the ancient Roman city of Stabiae a city ruined after the historic volcanic eruption of Mount Vesuvius .
Matisse: Painter as Sculptor, the first exhibition partnership between the DMA and the Nasher Sculpture Center , explored Matisses use of several media over the course of his life. A total of 76,045 visitors attended the exhibition at the DMA and Nasher Sculpture Center .
Its great to see that the Museum is drawing such record crowds to its exhibitions and programming, said Judy Conner, Director of Marketing and Communications at the DMA. We have been fortunate to bring so many great works of art to Dallas this year and hope to continue the trend in years to come.
Late Nights at the Dallas Museum of Art Presented by Starbucks Coffee is now in its fifth year. In 2007, the series welcomed over 70,000 visitors of all ages to the Museum. The highlight of the series, the annual Starbucks Late Night Summer Concert on the DMAs downtown plaza has become one of the most anticipated cultural events in Dallas each year. This years concert, featuring Dallas native Erykah Badu, broke Museum records by attracting over 36,000 visitors to the Museum in just six hours, and shut down the streets of the Dallas Arts District.
Regular programming such as Jazz in the Atrium on Thursday nights, Art and Yoga, Comic Book Club and Gallery Talks also added to the DMAs appeal this year. In fact, Museum surveys show that over half of all visitors to the Museum participate in some type of programming, thereby deepening their connection to and appreciation of the art.
The Museums fiscal year runs from Oct. 1 through Sept. 30. Opportunity for continued growth exists next year with the arrival of J. M. W. Turnera once-in-a-lifetime presentation of paintings by Britain s most treasured artist that visits only three U.S. venueson view in Dallas Feb. 10 through May 18. Additionally, the Dallas Museum of Art is the first venue for Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohson view Oct. 3, 2008 through May 17, 2009when the internationally acclaimed exhibition returns to the United States for a three-city encore U.S. tour. The Dallas engagement marks the first time that treasures from King Tuts tomb will be seen in the Southwest. To date, Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs has broken attendance records at all four museums on its previous two-year tour.
We are working diligently to ensure that the Museum remains an integral part of the arts culture in Dallas , Conner said. Developing quality programs that interest people of all ages and backgrounds is one of our primary goals at the DMA.