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Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty
“Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” at the Metropolitan Museum of Art


Aug. 8, 2011

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The Metropolitan Museum of Art announced today that its Costume Institute’s “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty” exhibition, which closed yesterday, was the eighth most popular in the museum’s history, ranking it alongside the enormously popular King Tut, Pablo Picasso and Vincent Van Gogh shows. The Met says 661,509 visitors attended over the course of its four-month run.

The museum had extended the show by a week, opened on Mondays for visitors willing to pay $50 and offered late-night hours on the exhibition’s final two days, but that didn’t stop lines from coiling so tightly around the block this weekend that even visitors willing to wait five hours were turned away. “We’re at capacity for the rest of the day,” we overheard one guard tell a confused visitor around noon on Friday. “The whole museum is closed.”

Needless to say, the show meant big money for the Met. The museum doesn’t release its profits data, but said it added 23,000 new members, double that of last year, which means that even if everyone bought the cheapest membership available -- prices range from $60-$550 -- they still brought the museum $1.38 million. And everyone knows that the $25 admission pricetag is just a suggested donation, but, if each person coughed up just $5, that’s still a cool $3.3 million. Plus, the Met raised $850,000 just from the Monday attendees, and another $4.5 million in catalogue sales. Not to mention the crystal-skull paperweights, tartan purses and baby-sized armadillo shoes that “sold out several times and were repeatedly reordered.”

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