FOR THE RECORD: The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute has turned up its own summer blockbuster. Over the weekend, “China: Through the Looking Glass” shattered the record-breaking attendance figures for the 2011 exhibition “Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty.” As of Sunday afternoon, the Andrew Bolton-curated China show had attracted 671,234 visitors, making it The Costume Institute’s most attended exhibition ever. With three weeks to go until its Labor Day closing, the China exhibition may still gain ground on the Met’s other top 10 visited exhibitions. The McQueen one ranked eighth with 661,509 visitors.
Given “China: Through the Looking Glass'” cross-cultural appeal — designers from around the globe are represented — it is not surprising that museumgoers speaking a variety of languages can be heard in the show’s 16 different galleries. Creative input from artistic director Wong Kar Wai is artistic director and production designer Nathan Crowley no doubt helped drum up interest. The Met is also favorite stop for many of the city’s estimated 55 million annual visitors. For fiscal year 2015 that ended June 30, The Met welcomed 6.3 million people, according to a museum spokeswoman. And unlike the McQueen show, which often left many biding their time in line in order to enter the show, the China show has been freeflowing since it is presented in the museum’s Chinese Galleries and Anna Wintour Costume Center.