The Most Popular Exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art: A Ranking of Visitor Favorites

Choose the exhibit you think is the most popular!

Author: Gregor Krambs
Updated on Feb 23, 2024 06:03
Step into the world of art and history as we unveil a spectacular ranking of the most popular exhibits at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. From the enchanting Temple of Dendur to the mesmerizing works of Vincent van Gogh, we've gathered a dazzling array of artistic masterpieces that have captivated the hearts and minds of millions. Now, it's time for you to cast your vote and make your voice heard in the ultimate quest to crown the Met's most beloved exhibit. Explore our carefully curated list, indulge in the vibrant world of art, and if you feel we've missed an exhibit that deserves recognition, don't hesitate to suggest it. Together, let's embark on this artistic adventure and celebrate the power of creativity at the Met!

What Is the Most Popular Exhibit at the Metropolitan Museum of Art?

  1. 1
    This exhibit showcased over 150 garments and accessories from the Vatican, as well as designer pieces inspired by Catholic art and culture. It was one of the most widely attended exhibits in the museum's history, attracting over 1.7 million visitors.
    Heavenly Bodies: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination (2018) is a highly acclaimed exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It showcases the intersection of fashion and religion, exploring the influence of Catholicism on fashion designers. The exhibit features a unique collection of ecclesiastical garments, accessories, and artwork from the Vatican, alongside contemporary fashion pieces inspired by Catholicism.
    • Theme: Fashion and the Catholic Imagination
    • Year: 2018
    • Location: The Metropolitan Museum of Art
    • Curator: Andrew Bolton
    • Exhibit Type: Art and Fashion
  2. 2

    David Hockney (2017)

    David Hockney
    This retrospective of the British artist's work included over 60 paintings, drawings, and prints, spanning his six-decade career. It was praised for its vibrant colors and innovative use of technology.
    David Hockney (2017) is a retrospective exhibition showcasing the works of one of the most influential artists of the 20th century, David Hockney. The exhibit features a comprehensive collection of his artworks, spanning his entire career, and provides visitors with a unique opportunity to experience the evolution of his artistic style. Hockney's paintings, drawings, prints, and photographs are prominently displayed, offering insights into his exploration of various genres and techniques.
    • Year: 2017
    • Medium: Painting, drawing, prints, and photographs
    • Genre: Various
    • Artistic Style: Evolutionary
    • Exhibit Type: Retrospective
  3. 3
    This exhibit explored the influence of Chinese art and fashion on Western designers, featuring over 140 haute couture pieces alongside Chinese artifacts and films. It was a critical and commercial success, attracting over 800,000 visitors.
    China: Through the Looking Glass (2015) is a highly acclaimed exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art that explores the influence of Chinese culture on Western fashion. Curated by Andrew Bolton, it showcases a stunning collection of garments, accessories, and art pieces that illustrate the complexities and interplay between Chinese aesthetics and Western fashion.
    • Year: 2015
    • Curator: Andrew Bolton
    • Location: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
    • Duration: May 7 - September 7, 2015
    • Theme: Chinese culture's influence on Western fashion
  4. 4
    This retrospective of the late British designer's work featured over 100 ensembles and accessories, many of which had never been shown before. It was widely praised for its dramatic presentation and exploration of McQueen's dark, romantic aesthetic.
    Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty (2011) was a highly acclaimed exhibition at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It showcased the extraordinary work of British fashion designer Alexander McQueen, who was known for his remarkable and avant-garde designs. The exhibition provided a comprehensive display of McQueen's iconic creations, including clothing, accessories, and runway shows, highlighting his unique blend of artistry and craftsmanship.
    • Exhibition Date: May 4, 2011 - August 7, 2011
    • Number of Objects: Approximately 100
    • Curator: Andrew Bolton
    • Themes: Nature, Romanticism, Primitivism, Gothicism
    • Influence: Historical fashion, culture, art, technology
  5. 5
    This exhibit showcased over 200 of the Renaissance master's drawings, sculptures, and architectural plans, offering a comprehensive look at his creative process. It was praised for its scholarly approach and illuminating insights into Michelangelo's genius.
    Michelangelo: Divine Draftsman and Designer (2017) was an exhibition held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art showcasing the works of the renowned Italian artist Michelangelo Buonarroti. The exhibition displayed a vast range of Michelangelo's artistic output, including his drawings, sculptures, architectural designs, and personal letters. It provided a comprehensive overview of his artistic practice, revealing his mastery in various mediums and his profound artistic vision. Visitors had the unique opportunity to witness the genius of Michelangelo through these exceptional works that demonstrated his technical precision, creative innovation, and his deeply spiritual approach to art.
    • Type: Art exhibition
    • Duration: November 13, 2017 - February 12, 2018
    • Location: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
    • Number of works: Approximately 133
    • Mediums: Drawings, sculptures, architectural designs, letters
  6. 6
    This exhibit explored the intersection of fashion and technology, showcasing over 170 garments and accessories from the early 20th century to the present day. It was praised for its innovative use of multimedia and its thought-provoking themes.
    The exhibit titled 'Manus x Machina: Fashion in an Age of Technology (2016)' showcased at The Metropolitan Museum of Art explores the intersection of fashion and technology. It examines how traditional couture techniques and innovative machine-based technology have influenced the creation of garments.
    • Exhibit dates: May 5 – September 5, 2016
    • Location: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
    • Focus: Fashion and technology
    • Highlights: Designs incorporating 3D printing, laser cutting, and other technological advancements
    • Curator: Andrew Bolton
  7. 7
    This exhibit traced the evolution of American fashion from the 1890s to the 1940s, showcasing over 80 ensembles and accessories from iconic designers such as Chanel, Vionnet, and Schiaparelli. It was praised for its insightful commentary on gender, class, and national identity.
    American Woman: Fashioning a National Identity (2010) was a highly acclaimed exhibit held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It explored the evolving fashion and style of American women from 1890 to 1940, showcasing the influence of social, cultural, and political factors on their fashion choices.
    • Exhibit Duration: May 5 to August 15, 2010
    • Curator: Andrew Bolton
    • Number of Objects: 80
    • Themes Explored: identity, femininity, freedom
    • Exhibited Fashion Designers: Paul Poiret, Charles James, Madeleine Vionnet
  8. 8
    This exhibit explored the role of fashion in the Impressionist movement, showcasing over 80 paintings alongside period costumes and accessories. It was praised for its interdisciplinary approach and its exploration of the relationship between art and society.
    Impressionism, Fashion, and Modernity (2013) is an exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art that explores the relationship between fashion and art during the Impressionist era. It showcases how the Impressionist artists captured the changing styles and trends in fashion through their paintings.
    • Exhibition period: February 26 - May 27, 2013
    • Number of artworks: approximately 80
    • Featured artists: Edouard Manet, Pierre-Auguste Renoir, Gustave Caillebotte, and more
    • Fashion objects on display: approximately 50 garments and accessories
    • Themes: the role of fashion in the works of Impressionist artists, the depiction of modern life, and the influence of rapidly changing fashion trends
  9. 9
    This exhibit brought together the work of two iconic designers from different eras, exploring their similarities and differences through a series of imagined conversations. It was praised for its witty and inventive approach to fashion history.
    Schiaparelli and Prada: Impossible Conversations (2012) was a popular exhibit held at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. It explored the similarities and contrasts between the works of two renowned Italian fashion designers, Elsa Schiaparelli and Miuccia Prada. The exhibit featured a series of imagined conversations between the two designers, discussing their shared interests and creative processes. Through a combination of fashion pieces, accessories, photographs, and video installations, it highlighted their individual contributions to the world of fashion and their lasting influences. The exhibit aimed to demonstrate how both designers challenged conventions and redefined femininity in fashion.
    • Year: 2012
    • Duration: May 10 - August 19
    • Curators: Harold Koda and Andrew Bolton
    • Featured Designers: Elsa Schiaparelli, Miuccia Prada
    • Artifacts: Approximately 100 garments and accessories
  10. 10

    Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years (2001)

    The Metropolitan Museum of Art
    This exhibit showcased the iconic first lady's style and influence, featuring over 80 garments and accessories from her White House years. It was widely attended and praised for its celebration of American fashion and history.
    Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years (2001) is an exhibition that showcases the iconic fashion collection of Jacqueline Kennedy during her time as the First Lady of the United States. The exhibit features a selection of her most notable designer garments, including dresses, coats, gowns, and accessories, which were displayed at The Metropolitan Museum of Art.
    • Exhibition Title: Jacqueline Kennedy: The White House Years (2001)
    • Year: 2001
    • Duration: Several months
    • Location: The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York City
    • Featured Items: Designer garments and accessories worn by Jacqueline Kennedy

Missing your favorite exhibit?


Ranking factors for popular exhibit

  1. Visitor attendance
    The number of visitors who specifically come to see the exhibit is a strong indicator of its popularity.
  2. Duration of the exhibit
    The longer an exhibit is displayed, the more visitors it can attract and the more popular it can potentially become.
  3. Publicity and media coverage
    Exhibits that receive widespread media coverage and positive reviews from critics tend to attract more visitors and become more popular.
  4. Social media engagement
    The number of social media posts, shares, and mentions related to the exhibit can indicate the level of public interest and popularity.
  5. Audience feedback
    Visitor surveys, online reviews, and comments can offer valuable insights into the overall appeal and popularity of an exhibit.
  6. Educational programs and events
    The number of educational programs and events associated with the exhibit (e.g., guided tours, lectures, workshops) can impact the popularity by engaging visitors and encouraging them to learn more about the exhibit.
  7. Cultural significance and relevance
    Exhibits featuring important works of art or artifacts with historical, cultural, or social importance tend to be more popular among visitors.
  8. Curatorial appeal
    The design, layout, and presentation of the exhibit can have an impact on its popularity. Well-curated exhibits tend to attract more visitors and generate more positive feedback.
  9. Accessibility
    Popular exhibits are usually easy to access in terms of location within the museum, availability of information, and accommodations for visitors with disabilities.
  10. Awards and recognition
    Exhibits that receive awards or other forms of recognition from industry professionals and organizations may have a higher standing in terms of popularity.

About this ranking

This is a community-based ranking of the most popular exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art. We do our best to provide fair voting, but it is not intended to be exhaustive. So if you notice something or exhibition is missing, feel free to help improve the ranking!


  • 169 votes
  • 10 ranked items

Voting Rules

A participant may cast an up or down vote for each exhibition once every 24 hours. The rank of each exhibition is then calculated from the weighted sum of all up and down votes.


More information on most popular exhibit at the metropolitan museum of art

The Metropolitan Museum of Art, located in New York City, is one of the most iconic art museums in the world. With over 2 million works of art spanning 5,000 years of history, it's no wonder that visitors often find themselves overwhelmed by the sheer magnitude of the collection. Among the many exhibits housed within the museum, there are a few that stand out as particularly popular. From ancient Egyptian artifacts to contemporary installations, each exhibit tells a unique story and offers visitors a chance to explore the world through the lens of art and culture. So, what is the most popular exhibit at The Metropolitan Museum of Art? Let's take a closer look.

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