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Finland Fell in Love with Kusama – Record Audiences at HAM

23.1.2017 10:35

The exhibition Yayoi Kusama: In Infinity at Helsinki Art Museum drew 225,000 visitors to the Tennis Palace in the space of four months, an all-time record for the museum. The previous record was set in 2016 when 119,000 art lovers visited the Ai Weiwei@Helsinki exhibition. The busiest days saw nearly seven thousand visitors to the Kusama exhibition.

Yayoi Kusama (b. 1929) is one of the most prominent artists in the world today, and her exhibition at HAM was a real hit also in the social media. Visitors shared thousands of photos of the exhibition on Instagram, and thanks to user activity the HAM Facebook page had almost a million visits during the exhibition period.

“Kusama’s exhibition had a total of 750,000 museum visitors in the Nordic region. It was great to see the audience enjoying Kusama’s art and her world at HAM. I want to thank all our visitors from the bottom of my heart. You made the exhibition the highlight of the autumn season.”
Maija Tanninen-Mattila, Director of HAM

In Infinity was the first major retrospective of Kusama’s work held in Finland. Spanning her career from the early 1950s to the present, the show was open from 7 October 2016 to 22 January 2017. The exhibition was organised by the Louisiana Museum of Modern Art in cooperation with Henie Onstad Kunstsenter, Moderna Museet/ArkDes and Helsinki Art Museum, HAM.

A study commissioned by HAM from TNS Gallup during the exhibition indicated that HAM’s customer relations with visitors remain strong. The probability of repeat visits and of recommendation were also very high. Key strengths in terms of impact were associated with exhibition programming and the museum’s manner of operation.

Changes in opening hours and admission prices

The Tennis Palace galleries will be closed on 24 and 25 January for dismounting the exhibition. The downstairs galleries will reopen for the public on 26 January. Because of the closure of the upstairs galleries, a reduced admission fee of 5 euro will apply from 26 January to 2 March 2017. A joint jubilee exhibition by five Finnish museums, Modern Life!, will open for the public on 3 March.