Attendace at Museum of Arts and Design Reaches 156,000 Visitors, Exceeding Projections Dramatically

Due to Great Public Demand, Museum Extends Inaugural Exhibitions

New York, NY (February 2, 2009)

Since the opening of its new building on Columbus Circle, the Museum of Arts and Design has had overwhelmingly positive response from the public with over 160,000 visitors since the end of September, doubling last year’s attendance numbers and projections. In addition, museum membership has nearly doubled and income at The Store at MAD has increased nearly 50% compared to last year’s revenue for the same period.

In response to this great demand, the Museum is extending its inaugural exhibitions Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary and Elegant Armor: The Art of Jewelry. Second Lives, a thematic exhibition featuring 54 contemporary artists from 18 countries who transform commonplace objects into astonishing works of art, will run for an additional two months until April 19, 2009. A new work, The Hope Throne, by Mozambique artist Gonçalo Mabunda, will be added to the exhibition. The Museum’s successful jewelry exhibition, Elegant Armor: The Art of Jewelry, which features works of modern and contemporary jewelry, will be extended until July 5, 2009.

"Thanks to its exciting new home and inspired programming, MAD’s attendance is 50% higher than projected," said Kate D. Levin, the New York City Commissioner of Cultural Affairs. “MAD’s success shows how, during these tough economic times, the City’s support for culture is key to buoying the economy, attracting tourists, and making New York a great place to live and work."

“The public is really embracing the new Museum. New Yorkers have shown their great enthusiasm for our new home and our inaugural exhibitions, and we are so happy to have welcomed visitors from across the country and the world,” said Holly Hotchner, the Museum’s Nanette L. Laitman Director. “The number of visitors has significantly exceeded our expectations and we hare happy to extend the exhibitions to meet this great demand. “

Since its opening, the Museum has also served 1,500 school children from 28 New York City schools, more than doubling last year’s numbers. Over 2,500 adults have attended the Museum’s 28 public programs presented since the opening, approximately seven times the number of last year.

The Museum has received overwhelmingly positive response from visitors; has hosted international events with organizations ranging from the United Nations to the Indian International Film Festival; while receiving positive press from critics such as Ada Louise Huxtable of the Wall Street Journal who said: “The building has presence… It has acquired form and focus... and there is enchantment inside. It is easy art, devoted to the pure pleasure of the eye.”

“Of great note is also the quality of visits and the sheer joy people have when visiting the Museum,” Hotchner states. “The artists’ engagement in our Open Studios has been a very new experience for many visitors. The range of human creativity and the unique materials used have astonished our visitors who are truly engaged and stay several hours in the galleries,” Hotchner added.


Second Lives: Remixing the Ordinary features objects that are made out of discarded, or valueless objects and transformed into extraordinary new works of art. The exhibition includes new commissions and site‐specific installations, created from gun triggers, spools of thread, tires, hypodermic needles, dog tags, old eyeglasses, and telephone books, among other manufactured and mass‐produced objects. Highlighting the creative processes that repurpose these objects, the exhibition explores the transformation of the ordinary into the extraordinary and stimulates debate on function, value, and identity.

On view in The Tiffany & Co. Foundation Jewelry Gallery on the second floor, Elegant Armor: The Art of Jewelry explores the inspirations for contemporary jewelry, including the fine arts, the human form and the natural world. The exhibition features over 240 works of modern and contemporary jewelry from 1948 through the present, drawn from the Museum’s collection of nearly 500 modern and contemporary designs.


The Museum of Arts and Design explores how craft, art, and design intersect in the visual arts today. The Museum focuses on contemporary creativity and the ways in which artists and designers from around the world transform materials through processes ranging from the handmade to cutting edge technologies.

The Museum’s exhibition program explores and illuminates issues and ideas, highlights creativity and craftsmanship, and celebrates the limitless potential of materials and techniques when used by creative and innovative artists. MAD’s permanent collection is global in scope and focuses on art, craft, and design from 1950 to the present day.


Claire Laporte
Chief External Affairs Officer

Christina Allan
Communications Associate

Tel: 212.299.7737