Thursday October 18, 2018
Tags for: The Cleveland Museum of Art Announces Record-Breaking Summer
  • Press Release

The Cleveland Museum of Art Announces Record-Breaking Summer

exterior of the CMA building

Museum welcomes 305,692 visitors; Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors contributes millions to local economy

Cleveland (October 18, 2018) – The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA) today announced record-breaking summer attendance, welcoming 305,692 visitors to the institution from July 1 through September 30, 2018. This is the highest summer attendance in the museum’s history, more than doubling the number of visitors during the same period in 2017. This increase is a result of the landmark exhibition Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors, which attracted more than 120,000 visitors from all 50 states and 23 countries in Europe, Asia, South America and Australia. Attendance was also strengthened by a variety of FRONT International exhibitions presented at the CMA. Additionally, Infinity Mirrors helped the museum reach a new membership record with more than 30,000 households now supporting the museum. 

“We are ecstatic to see such strong growth in our summer attendance and are delighted to have welcomed so many visitors to the institution from around the globe,” said William Griswold, director of the Cleveland Museum of Art. “We attribute this success to Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors and our participation with FRONT International Triennial. In addition to having a strong impact on the institution, Infinity Mirrors significantly added to the local economy as well.”

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors featured works spanning Yayoi Kusama’s 65-year career and was on view at the Cleveland Museum of Art from July 7 through September 30, 2018. It featured seven of Kusama’s immersive Infinity Mirror Rooms, including Where the Lights in My Heart Go (2016), exclusive to Cleveland. The Cleveland Museum of Art was the only Midwest venue for the exhibition, and one of just five across the United States. Guests shared their experiences widely on social media using the hashtag #InfiniteKusama.

Summer CMA visitors boosted the museum’s revenues by $6.9 million in direct spending. This total includes ticket sales for Infinity Mirrors, exhibition sponsorships, merchandise sales, parking, events and dining in the restaurant and cafe, as well as memberships, which generated $2.3 million. The exhibition also created 120 new jobs to support visitor services and other exhibition-related activities, and more than 100 volunteers helped ensure that record crowds had a wonderful experience during their time at the CMA. All revenue from the exhibition will support the CMA’s mission and further the institution’s ability to offer free admission, education and community programs and a wide range of exhibitions throughout the year. 

Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors also contributed a total of $5.5 million in economic activity to Cuyahoga County from tourists to the region, according to an economic impact study conducted by Kleinhenz & Associates. The study measured exhibition-related spending including airfare and other transportation, restaurants, and hotels and retailers within Cuyahoga County. Additionally, visitor expenditures resulted in an additional 58 jobs directly created or supported within Cuyahoga County.

For media images or more information about Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors, click here

Contact the Museum's Media Relations Team:
(216) 707-2261