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Metropolitan Museum’s Summer Exhibitions Stimulate $781 Million Economic Impact for
New York

(New York, September 14, 2012)—Three widely acclaimed and highly attended exhibitions in the spring/summer 2012 season at The Metropolitan Museum of Art—Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations; Tomás Saraceno on the Roof: Cloud City; and The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde—generated an estimated $781 million in spending by regional, national, and foreign tourists to New York, according to a visitor survey the Museum released today. Using the industry standard for calculating tax revenue impact, the study found that the direct tax benefit to the City and State from out-of-town visitors to the Museum for the season totaled some $78.1 million. (Results of visitor survey are below.)

The Museum’s report was released today as it was being submitted to a joint hearing of the New York City Council Committees on Cultural Affairs, Libraries and International Intergroup Relations, and Small Business.

The survey of visitors to Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations; Tomás Saraceno on the Roof: Cloud City; and The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde is the most recent of a series of audience studies undertaken by the Metropolitan over the years to calculate the public economic impact of its special exhibition program. In 2011 the Museum found that Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty; Anthony Caro on the Roof; Richard Serra Drawing: A Retrospective; and Rooms with a View: The Open Window in the 19th Century—generated $908 million; the summer 2009 opening of the New American Wing, along with the concurrent presentation of Roxy Paine on the Roof: Maelstrom; Francis Bacon: A Centenary Retrospective; and The Model as Muse: Embodying Fashion, generated $593 million; and three exhibitions of the summer 2008 season—J. M. W. Turner, Jeff Koons on the Roof, and Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy—generated $610 million.

Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations, on view from May 10 through August 19, 2012, attracted 339,838 visitors. Attendance for Tomás Saraceno on the Roof: Cloud City from May 15 through August 31, when this survey was completed, was 368,370 (the exhibition will close on November 4, 2012). The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde, on view from February 28 through June 3, 2012, drew 323,792 visitors.

Using a scale of one to ten, 26% of visitors responded with a rating of 8 or above when asked how important seeing one of the three exhibitions was in motivating them to visit New York, and 51% gave a rating of 8 or above with regard to the Met. The primary purpose of traveling to New York was pleasure for 86% of visitors, business for 3%, and combined business and pleasure for 11%.

The survey found that 80% of visitors traveled to the Museum this summer from outside the five boroughs of New York. Of these, 23% were from the Tri-State area, 30% were from other states, and 47% were international visitors. Seventy-nine percent of out-of-town visitors reported staying overnight in the City, and almost three-quarters (72% of the 79%) of these visitors stayed in a hotel, B&B, hostel, or rented apartment. The median length of stay in the City was five days.

During their stay in New York, these visitors reported spending an average $775 on lodging, dining, sightseeing, entertainment, and admission to other museums, and another $403 on shopping. Spending per person increased this year by 27%, compared to the amount cited in last year’s study. For 65% percent, this was their first visit to the Museum or first in several years.

The economic development impact of these exhibitions on the City does not provide direct extra benefit to the Museum, which maintains a policy of welcoming visitors to special exhibitions without imposing extra fees. All exhibitions are free with the Museum’s suggested admission.

Thomas P. Campbell, Director and CEO of the Metropolitan Museum, noted: “In a year of exceptionally strong tourism to the City, it gives us great pleasure to report that the Met remains a top cultural attraction and a vital part of New York’s economic engine, generating substantial revenues for the City and the State.”

Emily K. Rafferty, President of the Metropolitan Museum—who also serves as chair of NYC & Company, the city’s official tourism agency—noted: “Culture plays a vital role in the life of our City, and it is also a major motivating factor for tourists who travel here.”

New York City Council Member and Chair of the Cultural Affairs Committee Jimmy Van Bramer said, “The massive financial impact of the Metropolitan Museum of Art is impressive and Thomas Campbell and Emily Rafferty are to be congratulated for their outstanding work in bringing meaningful, powerful and popular exhibits to the Met. Over 50 million tourists visited New York City last year, spending more than $34 billion in the local economy. Arts and culture is at the center of the tourism economy, and the Met's survey results stand out showing that culture serves as an ever increasing economic driver in the City.”

The full-year estimate of visitor spending in New York by out-of-town visitors to the Museum in Fiscal Year 2012 is $5.7 billion. Last fiscal year, the Metropolitan Museum welcomed 6.28 million visitors, an increase of almost 600,000 over the prior year, and the highest level in over 40 years.

The latest economic development survey was conducted by the Museum’s Visitor Services Department/Office of Market Research.

Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations explored the striking affinities between Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada, two innovative Italian fashion designers from different eras.

The exhibition was made possible by Amazon.
Additional support was provided by Condé Nast.

Tomás Saraceno on the Roof: Cloud City merges art and architecture in a monumental constellation of interconnected modules in the Museum’s Iris and B. Gerald Cantor Roof Garden.

The exhibition is made possible by Bloomberg.
Additional support is provided by Cynthia Hazen Polsky and Leon B. Polsky, The Daniel and Estrellita Brodsky Foundation, William S. Lieberman Fund, and Eugenio Lopez.

Cloud City is lent by Christian Keesee.

The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde demonstrated an American family’s patronage of modern art created in France during the first decades of the 20th century.

The exhibition was made possible by The Philip and Janice Levin Foundation and the Janice H. Levin Fund.
Additional support provided by The Daniel and Estrellita Brodsky Foundation.
The exhibition was organized by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, and the Réunion des Musées Nationaux-Grand Palais, Paris.
It was supported by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities.

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September 14, 2012

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Results of Visitor Survey
Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations; Tomás Saraceno on the Roof: Cloud City;
and The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde
September 2012

A survey of visitors to three spring/summer 2012 exhibitions at The Metropolitan Museum of Art demonstrates that visitor spending by individuals from out of town generated $781 million of economic activity and provided an estimated direct tax benefit to New York City and State of $78.1 million.

630 visitors were surveyed between May 22 and June 3, 2012, when three special exhibitions—Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations; Tomás Saraceno on the Roof: Cloud City; and The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde—were on view.

Key findings
* 339,838 people saw Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations; 368,370 museumgoers visited Tomás Saraceno on the Roof: Cloud City (as of August 31), and attendance was 323,792 visitors for The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde.

* The vast majority of The Met’s visitors are from out of town. Eighty percent of visitors surveyed were from outside the five boroughs of New York City.

* Of the out-of-town visitors, 23% were from the Tri-State area, 30% from other US states, and 47% were international. International visitors on average spend more and stay longer than domestic visitors.

* More than three-quarters (79%) of the out-of-town visitors stayed overnight in the City, and the median length of stay was 5 days. Almost three-quarters of these stayed in a hotel, B&B, hostel, or rented apartment.

* Out-of-town visitors reported spending on average $775 on expenses and another $404 on shopping during their visit to New York, yielding an estimated $781 million in spending by visitors to the exhibitions. Using an estimate of a 10% tax rate on spending (combining sales and hotel taxes), the tax benefit for New York City and State would be roughly $78.1 million. The reported spending per person increased 27%, compared to the amount cited in last year’s survey.

* During their stay in NYC, visitors participated in many other cultural activities: 74% visited other museums, 52% saw a Broadway show, and 21% attended an opera, ballet, or concert.

* 51% of the out-of-town visitors reported that their visit to The Met was a determining factor in their decision to visit New York. Out-of-town visitors were also asked how important seeing the Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations; Tomás Saraceno on the Roof: Cloud City; and The Steins Collect: Matisse, Picasso, and the Parisian Avant-Garde exhibitions, and visiting the Met in general, were to their decision to visit New York City. Using a 1 (not at all important) to 10 (very important) scale, 26% of visitors gave a rating of 8 or above with regard to the exhibitions, and 51% gave a rating of 8 or above to visiting the Met in general.

* Using just those individuals who said the exhibitions or the Museum were highly important in their visiting decision, the visitor spending estimate would be $203 million (for the exhibitions) or $398 million (for the Museum in general). These figures would yield tax benefit estimates of $20.3 million and $39.8 million respectively.

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