'David Bowie Is' Exhibition Breaks the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago Attendance Record

By Jaime Prisco on Jan 06, 2015 04:17 PM EST

The "David Bowie Is” exhibition broke the Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago’s attendance record with more than 193,000 people visiting in its 15-week run.

“David Bowie Is” is the most successful exhibition in the MCA’s 47-year history, with some Bowie-related programs and performances selling out in less than an hour as well as the highest sales for the MCA Store.

“We brought this exhibition to the MCA because it was an ideal bridge to connect with new audiences who are interested in the multidisciplinary arts that have always been a hallmark of the museum. We are thrilled that so many people from around the country visited us for the first time, and we are especially proud of the enthusiasm and support we had in Chicago, where members of the community had a chance to rediscover the MCA,” says MCA Pritzker Director Madeleine Grynsztejn.

“David Bowie Is,” which opened Sept. 23 and ran until Jan. 4, is the first international exhibition of the career of Bowie, one of the most pioneering and influential performers of our time. According to MCA, the exhibition focuses on his creative processes and collaborative work with artists and designers, and demonstrates how his work has influenced and been influenced by wider movements in art, design, music and theater.

The response in the Chicago community to the exhibition has been overwhelming. Restaurants, venues and hotels all had events that were inspired by the man himself. People showed up to MCA events dressed as Bowie’s many stage personas and 52 million Twitter accounts viewed the hashtag #DavidBowieIs.

Twitter is not the only site experiencing Bowie fever, though. The MCA website numbered more than 1 million views with a Bowie tribute concert hosted by the MCA drawing thousands of people. Mayor Rahm Emanuel even declared Sept. 23 David Bowie Day in Chicago.

The exhibition continues its international tour with upcoming stops at the Philharmonie de Paris, Cité de la Musique in Paris (March to May 2015), the Australian Centre for the Moving Image in Melbourne (July to November 2015) and the Groninger Museum in the Netherlands (December 2015 to March 2016).

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TagsDavid Bowie, Is, Exhibition, Museum, of Contemporary Art Chicago, MCA

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