A Full Recap on the Savage Success of the Met’s Alexander McQueen Exhibition

Now that it’s nearly been a full week since the “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” closed at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, the full reports on the triumphant, record-setting success it was for the museum are starting to come out. First, the Met issued a full total count of visitors who passed through the exhibition: a whopping 661,509, placing it at number eight in their Top 10 list of most popular shows they’ve ever had in their 141-year history. Among that nearly three-quarters of million people, it’s been announced that 23,000 wound up signing up for memberships somewhere along the way, which go from anywhere between $70 and $550. As the Wall Street Journal writes, this being more than double the amount who signed up last year over the same period of time, is sure to give the museum a nice boost, particularly in the face of continued rocky financial times. However, it wasn’t all good news in the membership department. DNAinfo reports that a letter was sent out this week to all members, apologizing that they’d stopped letting them cut in line this past weekend while the museum was thronged with last minute visitors, which sometimes resulted in lines lasting up to five hours just to get into the exhibit. “Our goal throughout this period of high demand was to balance our commitments to access and safety, for both our visitors and our collections,” wrote director Thomas Campbell in his conciliatory letter. But in the end, it’s assumed that even though those last minute straggling members were miffed, they still stayed put and stuck it out. Finally, Jezebel recently took a look at the numbers, did some analysis, and came up with a rough estimation of how much the Met raked in over the short run of the exhibition: $14,603,862. Not too shabby at all. Though one can assume that some of that was eaten up a bit with the overhead of hiring more security, paying staff overtime and just leaving the museum open for so many additional hours (cooling that building down with A/C certainly can’t be cheap).