At Large  March 29, 2024  Carlota Gamboa

The Louvre Is Still the World's Most Visited Museum, and More News

Photo: Matt_86 via Pixabay

The Louvre Museum, pictured here, was the world's most visited museum in 2023.

The Most Popular Museums Around the World

In an effort to follow the pace at which normalcy is regained in a post-pandemic climate, The Art Newspaper has been tracking the number of visitors the largest art institutions receive per year. Creating a comparative list of the 100 most visited museums in 2023, we can see that most of them have begun to reach their target numbers since first having to shut down in 2020. Even though Los Angeles has failed to make a top-ten slot, The Getty Center and the Huntington Library, Art Museum and Botanical Gardens both welcomed more than a million visitors.  Unsurprisingly, the Louvre in Paris remains the world’s most visited museum, down by only eight percent from its total visitors in 2019. Followed by the Vatican Museums, and London’s British Museum, The Metropolitan Museum of Art takes the fifth slot, with 10 percent more visitors than it saw in 2019.
 

Grand Opening of Albert Frey’s Aluminaire House in Palm Springs

The United States’ first all-metal house has found its new home at the Palm Springs Art Museum, just a few blocks away from where its original architect once lived. Thanks to the efforts of The Aluminaire Foundation, founded by Michael Schwarting and Frances Campani, the “Aluminaire — a House for Contemporary Life,” recently reopened to the public since it was first presented in a Manhattan building trade expo. As reported by The Los Angeles Times, the structure was originally designed in 1931 by Swiss architect Albert Frey alongside the editor of Architectural Record, Lawrence Kocher. The duo’s unique (at least for its time) construction combined elements of Bauhaus minimalism with utilitarian materials like the facade’s aluminum panels. Even though visitors are not able to physically enter the house, it’s found the right community, since Frey himself established the quintessential Palm Springs style, later known as “desert modernism.”
 

NYC’s New Museum Temporarily Closed for Renovations

The New Museum in New York City packed up Judy Chicago’s retrospective Herstory and soon after announced its temporary closure. Undergoing a massive expansion designed by OMA / Shohei Shigematsu and Rem Koolhaas, the seven-story project will double the institution's exhibition space, as well as offer additional venues and artist residency studios. The museum is expected to reopen sometime in early 2025, and though the expansion has been in the books since 2008, less than a year after it moved to 235 Bowery (its original building at that address was designed by SANAA / Kazuyo Sejima and Ryue Nishizawawhich), many locals are not looking forward to the addition. Per Hyperallergic, some expressed their hesitancy on the New Museum’s instagram post celebrating the expansion, speculating the structure will come off as “hostile” and “corporate” in contrast to the neighborhood's original buildings. The project was first announced in 2016, OMA was announced as the architect in 2017, and the first renderings of their design were released in 2019.
 

Joan Jonas’ Major MoMA Retrospective

Multidisciplinary artist and New York City native Joan Jonas’ six-decade-long career is encapsulated in the Museum of Modern Art exhibition Joan Jonas: Good Night Good Morning. First emerging on the Downtown art scene in the 1960s and ’70s, stage props and costumes collected from her performances, sculptural work, photography and video installation now create an interactive archive of her work within the gallery. The show was curated by Ana Janevski and touches from her earliest influential work, like records of Jonas’ performance persona Organic Honey, to a new video installation entitled To Touch Sound (2024). The new work pays homage to marine biologist David Gruber, who has collaborated with Jones on several recent projects. “I didn’t see a major difference between a poem, a sculpture, a film, or a dance,” Jonas is quoted saying on MoMA’s website, where a (very limited) preview of the work on view can be found. The exhibition runs through June 6.
 

Art Basel Hong Kong Sees a Booming Market

The 11th iteration of Art Basel Hong Kong commenced earlier this week as crowds converged to visit the 242 participating galleries. Thirty-seven percent larger than last year’s iteration of the fair, the growth was seemingly appreciated by the many interested collectors. Mainland China recently unseated the UK as the second-largest buyer market, and the sales made during the first few days reflect that. As reported by ARTnews, Hauser & Wirth alone sold a combined $22 million within the week. A Phillip Guston painting went for $8.5 million and a Willem de Kooning sold for $9 million, while the gallery’s top sale last year was a George Condo painting that sold for $4.75 million. It’s also stated that the buyer market seems to be relatively young, as the Hong Kong gallerist Pearl Lam told The Art Newspaper, “buying art is so fashionable in China now. Once everyone here played golf; now they buy art. We have to transform this fashion into a passion.”

About the Author

Carlota Gamboa

Carlota Gamboa is an art writer based in Los Angeles.

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