Art Gallery of South Australia welcomes over 1 million visitors off the back of record-breaking Impressionist exhibition

Colours of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d’OrsayColours of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay has generated the largest exhibition attendance figures ever for a ticketed exhibition at the Art Gallery of South Australia.

The exhibition closed on Sunday 29 July after its 123-day season, attracting 159,442 visitors with 35,449* from outside of South Australia. These unprecedented figures round off a stellar year for the Art Gallery which welcomed 1,051,033 visitors to its exhibitions and associated events during the 2017/2018 financial year.

With an increase of more than 200,000 from the previous year, the attendance composition includes 800,441 visitors to the North Terrace site and 250,592 to the Gallery’s offsite exhibitions including attendances from the Gallery’s flagship offerings – the Adelaide Biennial of Australian Art and TARNANTHI Festival of Contemporary Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art.

Premier Steven Marshall commended the Art Gallery of South Australia on their most recent milestone. “Congratulations to the Art Gallery of South Australia for reaching record breaking numbers through their doors – one million visitors off the back of the historic Colours of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay exhibition is exceptional,” said The Premier.

“The Art Gallery of South Australia has an enviable track record when it comes to presenting international blockbuster exhibitions that attract visitors to our state in their thousands – and Colours of Impressionism has again demonstrated that.”

In addition to record-breaking attendance figures for Colours of Impressionism, Art Gallery Membership saw a growth of 40% during the exhibition season, taking membership numbers to an all-time high. Demand for school visits of the exhibition was also unprecedented with the Art Gallery welcoming over 14,385 students and educators.

“Clearly the Art Gallery of South Australia offers both broad appeal and a depth of engagement, attracting significant audiences from South Australia and from further afield,” said Art Gallery of South Australia, Co-Acting Director Lisa Slade. “Colours of Impressionism has attracted audiences of all ages and I am particularly encouraged to see large numbers of school visitors to the exhibition.”

“It is extremely humbling that the Musée d’Orsay chose Adelaide as the Australian-only venue for this exhibition and this relationship places the Gallery and the state in an excellent position to advance future projects with International galleries and collections. We owe the success of Colours of Impressionism to our audiences and specifically to South Australians who visited in droves and who drive us to be ambitious.”

The figures demonstrate the positive contribution that the Art Gallery is making to the growth of the economy, tourism and the cultural health of the state. The interstate reach of the exhibition was enhanced by the support of the South Australian Tourism Commission and exhibition partner Art Exhibitions Australia.

Now that the exhibition has drawn to a close the Gallery will undertake a detailed economic impact study to measure and report on the exhibition’s economic contribution. This will be released in coming months. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Visitors viewing one of the works in Colours of Impressionism: Masterpieces from the Musée d’Orsay – photo by Andre Castellucci

Note: *based on 25.1% of total visitation excluding schools and private events where it is assumed visitors are based in South Australia