Hyde year-end wrap-up confirms successful Degas & Music, Season
The Hyde Collection recently concluded its year-end reporting on the 2009 summer exhibition – Degas & Music – and its related collaborative Season of Degas. The exhibition, which closed on Sunday, October 18, 2009, was an exclusive, three-month exhibition of works by famous French Impressionist Edgar Degas.
More than 18,100 visitors, including both local residents and tourists from as far afield as Sweden and Slovenia, visited the Museum during the July 12 through October 18 run. Attendance at The Hyde was up more than 152% over the same period last year.
According to The Hyde’s Executive Director David F. Setford, Degas & Music set the standard for future summer exhibitions. “To paraphrase a popular movie line… ‘If you bring it, they will come’ fits this exhibition to a tee.” Despite the nearly universal decline in tourism throughout 2009, Setford noted that the uniqueness of the exhibition drew a strong visitorship to the Museum and the area. “Through the dedication of our board, staff, guest curators Richard Kendall and Jill DeVonyar, and through the heart-warming support shown us by arts and community organizations as well as government and public venues, we were able to bring a strong exhibition to Glens Falls despite economic conditions that were less than favorable. The very good news is that art lovers responded by coming to the area.”
Setford also attributes to Degas & Music a significant raising of regional public awareness about The Hyde Collection. “This exhibition was covered by arts and consumer publications extensively because of its strong appeal and its exclusiveness to The Hyde,” said Setford. “Visits to our website increased nearly 150% and based on zip code data we collected at the door, word of mouth topped each type of outlet used to publicize the exhibit.”
Season of Degas
In addition to the premiere nature of Degas and Music, The Hyde’s collaborative efforts with more than forty arts and community organizations to present the Season of Degas added to both the exhibition experience and regional excitement. From arts and dance classes, to Degas-themed exhibitions, performances, and other events, the Season comprised more than 100 opportunities for residents and visitors to enjoy Degas and the arts. It is estimated that, including visitors to all Season of Degas events, exhibitions, lectures, and performances, more than 66,000 people were impacted by The Hyde’s summer activities.
A Hyde survey of Season of Degas participants confirmed the belief that these collaborative efforts benefited organizations and visitors alike, despite the weakened economy. Of those responding to the survey, 92% reported that their organization’s attendance was the same or greater than it had been last year. A full 54% percent cited higher attendance numbers than in their 2008 season and 8% reported that their attendance was up considerably over last year.
Plans are already underway for next year’s major summer exhibition – Andrew Wyeth: An American Legend – which will be on view from June 12 through September 5, 2010.