The Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York had record attendance figures in a year beset by change and controversy.
New York City’s Metropolitan Museum of Art notched a new attendance record for fiscal year 2018, despite a turbulent recent history in which its director stepped down and the museum introduced a controversial mandatory admission fee. Over 7.35 million people visited the Met in the year-long period that ended June 30, nearly a tenth of them visitors to “Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer,” the blockbuster drawings show that was up from November 2017 through February 2018 and brought in over 700,000 fans, according to a press release issued by the museum on Thursday. The Met also raised more than $250 million in philanthropic gifts, contributions through memberships, and government support—the highest figure in years, the museum said in the release. That included one of the largest gifts in recent history, a donation of more than $80 million from Florence Irving and her late husband, Herbert Irving, two trustees of the museum. The museum has three locations—The Met Fifth Avenue, The Met Cloisters, and The Met Breuer—and visitor figures include attendance at all three.