The Association of Art Museum Directors (AAMD) today issued Art Museums By the Numbers 2015, AAMD’s annual release of aggregated data from its member survey. With statistics on revenue, expenses, attendance, and collections, it provides a snapshot of the field during the past year. It also includes a comparison with figures from the 2014 survey, which point to the continued stability of the field. As the data set grows annually, it will become an increasingly rich source of information to support understanding of museums’ operations and their service to the public.
· Museums derive support from diverse sources
Art museums continue to have a wide range of sources for funding, enabling them to sustain stability in changing economic environments. The single largest source of support for museums was income from their endowments, at 21% of overall revenue.
· Private giving continues to underpin museum operations
Individuals continued to provide strong support for art museums in their communities, with memberships and individual giving accounting for 16% of overall revenue. In addition, 85% of works entering art museum collections were acquired through gifts or bequests.
· Museums provide an important public service
Attendance at AAMD museums was over 60 million in 2015. Visitors spent an average of $8 per visit, while museums spent approximately $55 per visitor. Museums’ diversified sources of support make this investment in public service possible.
· New data point on admissions
In 2015, one third of AAMD museums offered free admission, 60% had a set admission fee, and slightly over 5% had a suggested donation admission policy.
AAMD will continue to release Art Museums By the Numbers on an annual basis, with longitudinal data building over time. To download the full report, please visit aamd.org.
The Association of Art Museum Directors, representing 236 art museum directors in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, promotes the vital role of art museums throughout North America and advances the profession by cultivating leadership and communicating standards of excellence in museum practice. Further information about AAMD’s professional practice guidelines and position papers is available at www.aamd.org.
Christine Anagnos / Alison Wade
Association of Art Museum Directors
Resnicow Schroeder Associates