Return to Previous Page

July 28th, 2005
Dalí Retrospective Produces Nearly $55 Million Economic Benefit for Philadelphia and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Philadelphia, PA (July 28, 2005)--- Philadelphia, PA (July 28, 2005)--- The recently concluded Salvador Dalí retrospective at the Philadelphia Museum of Art was not only a spectacular exhibition of a great artist’s work but also produced a major economic impact for the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, generating total economic activity of nearly $55 million, creating 830 full-time equivalent jobs with over $20 million in salary and wages, adding more than $4.46 million in increased tax revenues, and providing a powerful incentive for cultural tourism to the region. These were among the findings of a report released today by the Philadelphia Museum of Art, together with Advanta, the exhibition’s corporate sponsor, in cooperation with the Greater Philadelphia Tourism and Marketing Corporation (GPTMC) and the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PCVB). The report is available upon request.

Prepared by the Philadelphia-based Urban Partners, the report was commissioned by the exhibition’s marketing partners to independently assess the economic impact of the Museum’s Salvador Dalí exhibition, drawing upon the on-site survey responses of more than 1,000 visitors, as well as surveys of groups and tour operators, and other data collected by the GPTMC and the PCVB. Urban Partners’ analysis focused on the overall spending impact generated as a result of the exhibition; employment generated by this activity; and tax benefits received by the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania as a result of the exhibition.

Salvador Dalí (February 16-May 30, 2005) included more than 200 works of art on loan from public and private collections in 14 foreign countries. The Philadelphia Museum of Art was the only United States venue for the retrospective, which was seen first at the Palazzo Grassi, in Venice, Italy. It was the first retrospective of the artist’s paintings, drawings, and sculptures to be seen in the United States in more than 60 years. Salvador Dalí attracted 370,000 visitors from all 50 states and 33 countries, resulting in 98% of all possible tickets purchased. Approximately 15% of the visitors were residents of the City of Philadelphia, the remaining 85% were visitors who traveled from outside of the city to experience Salvador Dalí, more than 39,000 of whom stayed in a hotel. The Museum successfully negotiated the extension of loans from more than 200 lenders in order to continue the run of the exhibition an additional two weeks and increased public hours by 73% to help accommodate the demand. Every available ticket from 8:00 a.m. to midnight sold out in the last ten days of the exhibition.

Anne d’Harnoncourt, Director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art, said: “It is an extra pleasure to conclude a major exhibition knowing that in addition to serving our core educational mission and delighting our visitors, Salvador Dalí also provided substantial economic benefits for the city, the region, and the state. These results underscore the vital importance of the partners with whom we work, from the scholars and international institutions with which we collaborated to organize the exhibition, to the City of Philadelphia and the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania which contributed to make it possible to bring the exhibition here, and Advanta, our extraordinary corporate sponsor which had the foresight to inspire a citywide celebration around this exhibition.

Gail Harrity, Chief Operating Officer of the Museum, added: “Urban Partners’ calculations show that the Museum’s programs and activities have a great impact on our region’s economic vitality, and that for every dollar invested in the Museum there is a far greater return. The Museum is an excellent investment at any time. When we can host a special exhibition such as Salvador Dalí and engage in an exceptional corporate-public partnership as we did in our marketing alliance with Advanta, the GPTMC and the PCVB, it generates benefits that clearly have a tremendous and positive ripple effect throughout our community.”

The technical study prepared by Urban Partners, Economic Impact of the Salvador Dalí Exhibition, revealed that the exhibition:

  • Generated a total economic impact of $54.9 million within the Philadelphia region, with a total direct economic impact of $30.7 million and a total indirect economic impact of $24.2 million.
  • Generated bookings of nearly 20,700 Philadelphia hotel room nights by individuals coming specifically to see Salvador Dalí.
  • Created 830 full-time equivalent jobs, including 662 positions located within the City of Philadelphia, of which 499 are estimated to be held by city residents.
  • Produced a total local and state tax benefit of $4.46 million, including $2.17 million in increased tax revenue for the City of Philadelphia and $2.29 million in increased tax revenue for the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
  • Involved 145 area business establishments (shops, restaurants, and cultural institutions) in Advanta’s Dalí Deals promotion, over 90 % of which stated a desire to participate in a future promotion.
  • Motivated approximately 52,000 visits to other cultural attractions by individuals who came to Philadelphia primarily to see Salvador Dalí. Cultural institutions that welcomed these visitors included the Independence National Historic Park, a variety of performaing arts organizations, the Franklin Institute Science Museum, the National Constitution Center, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, and the Academy of Natural Sciences.

In Philadelphia, Salvador Dalí was made possible by ADVANTA. Its two-week extension (from May 16 until May 30) was made possible by Advanta and the Community and Economic Development Fund of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Additional funding was provided by an endowment from The Annenberg Foundation for major exhibitions at the Philadelphia Museum of Art, by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities, by grants from The Pew Charitable Trusts and the National Endowment for the Arts, and by a generous contribution from Gisela and Dennis Alter. Promotional support was provided by NBC 10 WCAU, Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau, and Amtrak, and the Productivity Bank of the City of Philadelphia. The print media sponsor was The Philadelphia Inquirer and

The exhibition was commissioned by the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation, Figueres, Spain, and organized by Palazzo Grassi, Venice, with the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation, Figueres, Spain, in collaboration with the Philadelphia Museum of Art and with the support of the Salvador Dalí Museum of Saint Petersburg, Florida, in celebration of the centennial of Dalí's birth. Dawn Ades, distinguished English scholar of surrealism and a specialist in Dalí was the guest curator, working with Sra. Montserrat Aguer Teixidor, the Gala-Salvador Dalí Foundation’s Director of the Center for Dalinian Studies, and Michael Taylor, the Muriel and Philip Berman Curator of Modern Art at the Philadelphia Museum of Art.

Social Media
Twitter/Facebook/Instagram/Tumblr/YouTube: @philamuseum

We are Philadelphia’s art museum. A landmark building. A world-renowned collection. A place that welcomes everyone. We bring the arts to life, inspiring visitors—through scholarly study and creative play—to discover the spirit of imagination that lies in everyone. We connect people with the arts in rich and varied ways, making the experience of the Museum surprising, lively, and always memorable. We are committed to inviting visitors to see the world—and themselves—anew through the beauty and expressive power of the arts.

For additional information, contact the Communications Department of the Philadelphia Museum of Art phone at 215-684-7860, by fax at 215-235-0050, or by e-mail at The Philadelphia Museum of Art is located on the Benjamin Franklin Parkway at 26th Street. For general information, call (215) 763-8100.

Return to Previous Page