The Tate’s decision to extend the duration of its major shows from the customary three months to five is paying off in terms of total visitor numbers and income. “Henri Matisse: the Cut-Outs”, which opened at Tate Modern in April and closed last month, was seen by a record 563,000 visitors. (The show opens at the Museum of Modern Art in New York this month.) But Tate Modern’s record show measured by the number of visitors a day remains “Gauguin: Maker of Myth”, 2010-11, which attracted 3,967 people a day, compared with Matisse’s 3,907. Meanwhile, the Tate’s latest annual report states that “Paul Klee—Making Visible”, which ran from last October until March, resulted in the gallery’s highest spend per visitor (its total attendance was 303,863). A spokesman for the Tate could not give a figure for the average spend, but the annual report reveals that a Klee-inspired scarf generated £80,000 (a light wool design cost £50 and a silk version £60). Tate Modern’s overall attendance fell from 5.3 million to 4.8 million last year, partly due to a bumper year in 2012, and also because of the Turbine Hall’s temporary closure during work on the museum’s £215m extension, which is due to open in late 2016.
Originally appeared in The Art Newspaper as 'Matisse coins it for Tate as longer shows pay off'