Preview

News
Exhibitions

Dior show smashes total attendance record at the V&A—but Alexander McQueen exhibition had more daily visitors

Exhibition of the late French designer had 594,000 visitors overall but was on for seven months

and

Installation view of the exhibition Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams at the Victoria and Albert Museum © Adrien Dirand

Officials at the Victoria and Albert Museum in London say that the recent exhibition Christian Dior: Designer of Dreams drew more than 590,000 visitors, making it the most attended show in the V&A’s history. The show opened on 2 February; in March, the organisers announced plans to extend the exhibition honouring the late French fashion designer (the end date changed from 14 July to 1 September).

Over seven months, the show attracted 594,994 visitors in total. The Dior exhibition surpassed the total figure for the 2015 exhibition on another fashion designer, Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty, which attracted 493,043 visitors but that only ran for just over four months (14 March-2 August). The number of daily visitors for the Dior was just over 2,800, while the McQueen exhibition had 3,470 visitors a day. The Art Newspaper's annual attendance survey, Art's Most Popular, ranks exhibitions by the number of daily visitors rather than the total overall figure.

Tristram Hunt, the director of the V&A, said in a statement: “I would like to thank all our visitors who have gone to such great lengths to experience this extraordinary show.” Ticket prices for Dior began at £20, with concessions available at £15; members of the V&A gained free admission.

When the show opened, we reported: “There are some parts of the show that feel a bit tokenistic—for example, an LGBTQ-style rainbow dress placed in a cabinet makes the subject seem like an afterthought—but overall the show leaves you with a warm, dream-like glow. And a desperate need to go buy something extravagant.”