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September 18th, 1996
Cezanne Museum Attendance Record

More than 548,000 individuals visited the Cézanne exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art during its nearly 14-week run (May 30 to September 1, 1996), making the show the most widely attended exhibition in the Museum's 120-year history. During the Cézanne exhibition,the total building attendance was recorded at an unprecedented 777,810 bringing Museum attendance to date for the calendar year to over one million. From Cézanne to Matisse: Great French Paintings from The Barnes Foundation, the Museum's previous record-holder in terms of building attendance, had attracted more than 477,000 visitors during its 11-week stay (January 31 through April 23, 1995).

Cézanne was a popular and critical success, inspiring thoughtful, positive reviews in prominent publications throughout the United States and the world, including Time, Newsweek, The New York Times, The New Yorker, Smithsonian, and The Philadelphia Inquirer. The exhibition, which contributed an estimated $86.5 million to Philadelphia's economy, also had an enormous impact on the Philadelphia Museum of Art, greatly increasing the Museum's audience, membership and public exposure to the Museum's collections and programs.

  • Museum membership increased by 52%, growing from 31,936 before Cézanne to 48,584 as of September 1.
  • 130 school groups, representing more than 2,505 individual children, attended Cézanne tours and programs organized by the Museum's Division of Education in the first week of the show while schools were still in session.
  • 1,600 groups of 15 or more adults toured the Cézanne exhibition, for a total of approximately 32,000 people.
  • Museum Guides volunteered 1,615 hours while leading tours and presenting slide lectures during Cézanne; they addressed 45,177 individuals.
  • 203,483 people ate in the Museum Restaurant, Café, Courtyard Café and Espresso Bar during Cézanne, an increase of 380% over the same period last year. Net sales in the Museum's dining facilities (which are managed by Restaurant Associates) increased by 828%.
  • 104 events hosted by corporations and non-profit groups were held at the Museum during Cézanne, including 30 by exhibition sponsor Advanta.
  • The Museum's website at had approximately 1,645,229 visits, or "hits," during Cézanne. Advanta Corporation's website at was linked to the Museum's site.
  • Sales in the Museum Stores were $7,241,000, an increase of 169% more than gross sales during the Barnes exhibition. Contributing to this figure are sales of 34,500 Cézanne catalogues, 8,750 baseballs, 43,850 posters, and 3,310 copies of the Advanta-financed CD-ROM, created by the Museum, A Is for Art, C Is for Cézanne.

The Philadelphia Museum of Art was the only North American site for the Cézanne exhibition, which included 112 paintings and some 70 watercolors and drawings representing the breadth of the artist's career. Cézanne was made possible in Philadelphia by Advanta, and was organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Reunion des Musées Nationaux/Musée d'Orsay, Paris, in association with the Tate Gallery, London. Additional support has been provided by grants from The Pew Charitable Trusts and the National Endowment for the Arts, by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and Humanities, and by a generous contribution from Gisela and Dennis Alter. USAir was the official airline for the exhibition. NBC 10 WCAU was the media sponsor.

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