Doing the numbers on LACMA’s Tim Burton show


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The Tim Burton exhibition at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art that ran from late May until midnight on Halloween was the museum’s fifth-best attended show over the past three decades, the museum announced Monday.

The show drew 363,271 visitors over 135 days, an average of about 2,700 a day. Approximately 47% of the people attending the Burton show were first-time visitors to LACMA.


‘Tim Burton,’ which debuted at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 2009, comprised drawings, paintings, photographs, film and video, storyboards, costumes from Burton’s career, as well as specific items from films such as ‘The Nightmare Before Christmas’ and ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.’ Burton created new work, including a 21-foot-tall creature dubbed Balloon Boy and a carousel installation that revolves to music composed by longtime collaborator Danny Elfman, for the traveling show.

A LACMA spokesman also said that the museum gained 16,000 new members during the time the Burton exhibition was up, and attributed at least some of those to the show, either because they stemmed from promotions specific to the Burton show or were ‘on-site joins’ during the run of the exhibition.

The museum’s best-attended show ever was ‘Treasures of Tutankhamun,’ which drew 1.2 million over four months in 1978. The next largest was another show with the boy king as star, the 2005 ‘Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs’ drew 937,613 during its 137-day run. A show of Van Gogh masterpieces from the artist’s eponymous Amsterdam museum is the third most successful show, and a 1984 exhibition of French Impressionist works is fourth.


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--Kelly Scott