As you may have noticed from your Instagram feed over the past 6 months, the Hilma af Klint show at the Guggenheim has been popular af, and now the museum has released some official numbers. 600,000 people have come through to see "Paintings for the Future" so far, making it the most visited exhibition in the Guggenheim's history. (Sorry, Art of the Motorcycle.)

If you haven't seen the show yet (at least you saw those wonderful subway ads?), they've just extended it through April 23rd, and are offering longer hours until it closes out: 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., from Friday, April 19th, through Tuesday, April 23rd. On Saturdays, starting at 5 p.m., entry will be Pay What You Wish; otherwise non-members pay $25.

What made the show so popular? This has been the first major solo exhibition in the United States devoted to the Swedish artist, who stipulated that the abstract, ethereal work in her "Paintings for the Temple" series not be publicly displayed until 20 years after her death. Last October when the show opened, Roberta Smith of the NY Times wrote about the relatively unknown artist ("the new (old) name to know") and her "game-changing works":

...prepare for label shock: they were created in 1907. The year 1907 is imprinted on the minds of many people drawn to modern art as the year it all began — when Picasso opened the path to Cubism with the splintered forms of “Les Demoiselles d’Avignon.” Equally startling, 1907 is several years before the triumvirate of European geniuses viewed as the primary innovators of modernist abstraction — Wassily Kandinsky, Kazimir Malevich and Piet Mondrian — had their breakthroughs, primarily during World War I. The idea that a woman got there first, and with such style, is beyond thrilling.

Some more facts from the museum:

  • More than 600,000 visitors have attended Hilma af Klint: Paintings for the Future, the highest recorded attendance figure for a single exhibition in the museum’s history.
  • Guggenheim Museum Membership has increased 34% since the exhibition opened in October.
  • More than 30,000 copies of the exhibition catalogue have been sold, surpassing the previous record set by the 2009 catalogue Kandinsky.
  • Since October 2018, Hilma af Klint-inspired products in the Guggenheim Store have accounted for 42% of total store sales.

Yeah, there's a whole store, and the merch is pretty amazing if you can afford it.

"Hilma af Klint: Paintings of the Future" will be on view at the Guggenheim through April 23rd.