When it opened at New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art in 2011, "Savage Beauty," an expansive exhibit dedicated to the work of the late Alexander McQueen, garnered immediate interest. Equal parts absorbing and unsettling, the show brought in 661,509 visitors between May 4 and Aug. 7, when it closed at midnight. According to the museum, it was its eighth most popular exhibit ever and the highest trafficked show at the Met's Costume Institute.
Its record-breaking streak continued at the Victoria & Albert Museum in McQueen's native London, where "Savage Beauty" opened this March. After it closed on Aug. 2, ticket sales stood at 493,043, making it the V&A's most visited exhibit yet.
In case you were curious, numbers two through five were "Art Deco 1910-1939" in 2003; "Wedding Dresses 1775-2014" in 2014; "David Bowie is" in 2013; and "Hollywood Costume" (2012). McQueen won out by a margin of 133,544 visitors.
Not that it's a competition. But with an exhibit this beautiful and poignant, it's not especially surprising, either.