Are visitors finally returning to museums? We dive into our latest visitor figures survey


The Art Newspaper’s annual report on museum visitor figures around the world has been published. We talk to Lee Cheshire, who co-edited the report, and to Charles Saumarez Smith, a former director or chief executive of three London museums and galleries—the National Portrait Gallery, National Gallery and Royal Academy of Arts—about how important the figures are to museums and whether they are a valid gauge of institutions’ success.

Edgar Degas’s L’Absinthe (1875-76) / Édouard Manet’s Plum Brandy (around 1877)

© Patrice Schmidt / Musée d’Orsay distribution RMN

The exhibition Manet/Degas opened at the Musée d’Orsay in Paris this week, before travelling later in the year to the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York. Ben Luke visits the show in Paris and speaks to Laurence des Cars, the former director of the Musée d’Orsay and now president-director of the Musée du Louvre, and Stéphane Guégan, the co-curator of the exhibition.

Berthe Morisot’s Woman at Her Toilette (1875-80)

Courtesy of The Art Institute of Chicago, Stickney Fund

And in London, a show of the paintings of Berthe Morisot, the pioneering Impressionist with artistic and familial connections to Manet and Degas, has opened at the Dulwich Picture Gallery. This episode’s Work of the Week is Morisot’s Woman at Her Toilette (1875-80). Lois Oliver, the curator of the exhibition in Dulwich, tells us about this pivotal picture.

• Manet/Degas, Musée d’Orsay, Paris, until 23 July; Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, 24 September-7 January 2024

• Berthe Morisot: Shaping Impressionism, Dulwich Picture Gallery, London, until 10 September, Musée Marmottan Monet later in 2023 (dates to be announced)


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