300,000 reasons the National Gallery of Victoria is number one

Ai Weiwei Urn TriptychThe Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria has welcomed its 300,000th visitor, making it the most popular ticketed summer exhibition in the NGV’s history.

Minister for Creative Industries Martin Foley today visited the NGV to welcome Sebastian Williams, aged 11 years old, through the doors as the popular exhibition’s 300,000th visitor. Sebastian came to the exhibition with her family from Hawaii as part of a holiday to Melbourne.

“This is a great day for the National Gallery of Victoria, and it’s more proof Victoria is the creative state. Milestones like these help make our city and state a cultural hotspot for visitors from right around the globe,” said Minister Foley. “This blockbuster has attracted visitors from all over Victoria, Australia and the world. It demonstrates the growing appetite for creative industries and why the NGV is Australia’s favourite gallery.”

Opening in December 2015, the Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei includes more than 300 works by the iconic contemporary duo, and has proven a showstopper ever since. Some 11,000 students have explored the mark the two artists have made on modern art and contemporary life.

The exhibition has smashed the previous summer record for attendees, The Fashion World of Jean Paul Gaultier which attracted 226,918 visitors in 2014-15. Nearly 20 per cent of ticket holders have traveled from interstate, and 10 per cent from overseas.

The NGV has been ranked the 21st most visited gallery in the world by the United Kingdom’s The Art Newspaper. Some 2.4 million people visited the world-renowned NGV in 2015, up from just over 2 million in 2014. The Gallery has attracted a 53 per cent increase in attendance over the last three years.

Andy Warhol | Ai Weiwei is open daily at the NGV until Sunday 24 April 2016. From 16 – 21 April, the exhibition’s opening hours will be extended until 9.00pm every night. For more information and tickets, visit: www.ngv.vic.gov.au for details.

Image: Ai Weiwei, Dropping a Han Dynasty Urn, 1995. 3 silver gelatin photographs (triptych). Image courtesy Ai Weiwei studio © Ai Weiwei