Hirst and Documenta break attendance records

Documenta 13 in Kassel proves to be a fifth as popular as the Magic Kingdom and Damien Hirst's Tate Modern retrospective is already the biggest ever for a solo artist at the museum, beating Edward Hopper and Gaugin
Damien Hirst at the Tate retrospective
Damien Hirst at the Tate retrospective


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The 13th edition of dOCUMENTA, the huge 100-day art exhibition held every five years throughout the museums, buildings and public spaces of Kassel in Germany, closed on Sunday breaking all previous records for the show. A total of 860,000 visitors attended the latest incarnation - up from 2007′s Documenta 12, which saw 754,301 visitors.  

Season-tickets for documenta proved a big hit, allowing people to return to the show repeatedly over the course of its 100 days. 12,500 people purchased them this year compared with 5,900 for dOCUMENTA (12). As many pointed out, the show was so wide you needed a few visits to take it all in.

According to an industry report, Walt Disney’s Magic Kingdom received about 16.97 million visitors in 2010. That works out to roughly 4.65 million visitors every 100 days (assuming a standard flow of visitors), making this year's dOCUMENTA around one-fifth as popular as the mouse house.

dOCUMENTA (13) beat out the other big winner of the art world, Damien Hirst's Tate show which, according to the London Evening Standard yesterday, has attracted 463,087 visitors in its first five months - an average of 3,000 people a day.

The 463,087 visitors make it the most visited solo exhibition ever held at the gallery, ahead of the Edward Hopper retrospective in 2004 and Gauguin in 2010/11. It's also the second most visited exhibition in Tate Modern’s history, after the joint Matisse and Picasso show in 2002 received 467,166 visitors.


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