Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs is the most popular exhibition in Tate's history

The show was the first to receive over half a million visitors

Antonia Molloy
Monday 15 September 2014 15:05
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"The Parakeet and the Mermaid 1952" by Henri Matisse at The Cut-Outs exhibition at the Tate Modern
"The Parakeet and the Mermaid 1952" by Henri Matisse at The Cut-Outs exhibition at the Tate Modern

A Tate Modern exhibition showcasing Henri Matisse’s paper cut-outs has become the most popular ever at the institution.

Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs, which ran between 17 April and 7 September, became the first exhibition in the Tate’s history to receive over half a million visitors - with 562,622 people viewing it.

The Cut-Outs was devoted to Matisse’s colourful and innovative body of work between 1937 and 1954. For the artist, it represented a final – and brilliant – chapter in his career.

The public agreed, with 3,907 people visiting the exhibition each day.

A private tour of the exhibition, Matisse Live, was also broadcast live from the gallery to over 200 cinemas nationwide, attracting an audience of 15,000.

Nicholas Serota, director of the Tate said: “We are delighted that so many people came to see Henri Matisse: The Cut-Outs at Tate Modern. It is testament to the power and accessibility of Matisse’s work that the exhibition has captured imaginations of visitors of all ages throughout the spring and summer this year."

He added: “We are immensely grateful to the private individuals and public institutions that lent precious and important works from their collections and to our collaborator, the Museum of Modern Art, New York. Without their generosity and the trust they placed in Tate the exhibition would simply not have been possible.”

The Tate Modern’s Matisse Picasso exhibition previously held the record as Tate’s most visited, with 467,166 visitors in 2002, while the Damien Hirst exhibition attracted 463,087 visitors in 2012.

In its annual report, the Tate also revealed that 2013/14 was an exceptional year for acquisitions. The institution acquired works to the value of £33.6 million, with 773 works by UK artists entering the collection and 282 works acquired by artists from abroad.

Across its four sites, Tate attracted a total of 7.04 million visitors, while Tate Modern retained its position as the most visited gallery of modern and contemporary art in the world.

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