Thursday, March 29, 2018

The world's most popular exhibition? Ancient sculptures in Tokyo versus Modern masters in Paris

Works by Unkei, the master of Buddhist sculpture, on show at the Tokyo National Museum. Asahi Shimbun via Getty Image
The four-year-old Fondation Louis Vuitton in Paris pulled off a major coup last year by welcoming more than 1.2 million people to see Impressionist and Modern works collected by the Russian industrialist Sergei Shchukin between 1898 and 1914. Although the Shchukin show boasts a higher number of overall visitors in our 2017 survey, we rank exhibitions by the number of daily visitors. So, despite attracting 8,926 people a day, the exhibition comes second to a display at the Tokyo National Museum of 22 Buddhist sculptures by the renowned Japanese artist Unkei (around 1150-1223). Around 11,300 visitors a day saw the exhibition—around 1,000 fewer daily visitors than when the gallery topped our 2010 survey with a show marking the 400th anniversary of the artist Hasegawa Tohaku’s death. [More]