Arts & Entertainment, etc. and Exhibits and Attractions and Indiana State Museum and Visual Arts and Events and Tourism & Hospitality

Titanic buoys state museum attendance

January 18, 2011
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A last-minute addition to the exhibition schedule, "Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition," turned out to be a boon to the Indiana State Museum.

The museum reported Tuesday morning that the show, which closed on Sunday, attracted 88,465 paying visitors during its 103-day run and boosted overall museum attendance by 45 percent.

"Titanic is the biggest exhibit we've had," spokeswoman Kathi Moore said. "It really did bring the State Museum into the forefront for the first time in a very long time."

Titanic attendees paid $10 on top of the regular museum admission, which is $7 for adults without a membership.

The State Museum will not keep all ticket revenue from Titanic, though terms of the agreement with the Atlanta-based company that brought the show, Premier Exhibitions Inc., are confidential, Moore said. The main benefit of the blockbuster was the increase in overall museum attendance. Overall museum attendance was 135,666 during the period, compared with 74,087 a year ago.

The State Museum's last blockbuster was "The Lord of the Rings: The Exhibition" in 2005. Moore said. Titanic probably benefited from a longer run, which coincided with Thanksgiving and Christmas breaks.

The State Museum is not planning to host any outside traveling shows in the near future, though that can always change. Moore said. Premier Exhibitions offered Titanic because of a last-minute change in its schedule. Meanwhile, the museum is putting the finishing touches on "Amazing Maize: The Science, History and Culture of Corn," which the staff has been developing for the past two years. The show is slated to open in September and run for about 18 months.

The Indianapolis Museum of Art's fall exhibition, "Andy Warhol Enterprises," which ran through Jan. 2, exceeded projections of 40,000 attendees, spokeswoman Katie Zarich said. More than 47,000 people attended the show, though not all of them bought the $14 ticket. (Information on paid admissions was not available Tuesday morning.)

The IMA, where general admission is free, sold memberships to 1,902 households during Warhol because the special exhibit was free to members. The IMA has 8,139 member households.

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