Home » Amsterdam, Veermer sets a record: the exhibition closes with 650,000 visitors

Amsterdam, Veermer sets a record: the exhibition closes with 650,000 visitors

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Amsterdam, Veermer sets a record: the exhibition closes with 650,000 visitors

With 650,000 visitors from 113 countries, during the 16 weeks of opening, from 10 February to 4 June 2023, the exhibition dedicated to the Dutch painter Jan Vermeer (1632-1675) at the Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam, despite the restricted admissions, was «the most visited ever, the most successful in its history». More than half (55%) of visitors to the exhibition came from the Netherlands.

The top five international nations by number of visitors were France (17%), Germany (16%), the United Kingdom (16%) and the United States (14%), while Italy accounted for 3% of attendance. Notable visitors included French President Emmanuel Macron during his official state visit to the Netherlands, US director Steven Spielberg, actors Gillian Anderson and Jamie Lee Curtis and US writer of South Korean origin Min Jin Lee. The exhibition featured 28 works by Vermeer (out of the 37 known), making it the largest exhibition ever dedicated to the artist; among these were famous paintings such as “Girl with a Pearl Earring” and “The Milkmaid”. Seven of the 28 works had never been exhibited in the Netherlands, including three paintings from the Frick Collection in New York and the National Gallery of Art, which had hosted a Vermeer exhibition in 1999. The Rijksmuseum has extended visiting hours for the exhibition, but said it had deliberately limited the number of visitors to ensure “the best possible experience”.

«Vermeer is the artist of tranquility and intimacy – said the director general of the Rijksmuseum, Taco Dibbits – We wanted visitors to be able to fully enjoy it. This was possible only by limiting the number of entries.

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The high public interest meant that tickets sold out within days of the exhibit opening in early February and days later the museum shut down general sales on its website. On eBay, unverified listings were selling tickets for $2,724. Thousands of people frantically checking the Rijksmuseum website also helped increase traffic to the exhibition’s internet page. The museum said nearly 800,000 people visited the online component, an interactive feature showcasing all of the paintings and which was narrated by actor Stephen Fry. According to the museum’s press office, over 100,000 copies of Vermeer’s catalog have been sold, “more than any other exhibition catalog in the history of the Rijksmuseum”.

To commemorate the incredible success of the exhibition, six masterpieces by the Dutch artist will now remain from 7 June until 10 October. Among these two excellent loans granted for the exhibition: among these two excellent loans granted for the exhibition: the «Girl with the red hat» from the National Gallery of Art in Washington and the «Young woman seated at the virginal» from the Leiden Collection of New York alongside the 4 in the Rijksmuseum collection.

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