Since the opening of "Plastic Entanglements: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials" eight weeks ago at the Palmer Museum of Art, attendance at the museum has ballooned by an unprecedented 32 percent. The record-breaking visitor numbers — more than 1,000 per week, which is hundreds more than the usual average — have soared as people of all ages come to explore the innovative, interdisciplinary exhibition that examines humanity’s past, present and future relationship to plastic.
“When attendance is up, engagement is up,” said Erin Coe, director of the Palmer Museum of Art. “The numbers also reflect the extent to which the exhibition topic, and its message of sustainability, has resonated with our audiences, both old and new alike.”
The Palmer typically welcomes around 35,000 visitors each year and averages 8,750 per quarter, but this year — due to the thought-provoking exhibition and how it illustrates modern society’s environmental, aesthetic and technological involvement with plastics — the museum had already surpassed that with a month to spare. With another two months to go before it closes, "Plastic Entanglements" will likely become the most-visited exhibition in the museum’s history.
Caption: "Plastic Entanglements: Ecology, Aesthetics, Materials" has attracted visitors of all ages, including Lauren Marshall, age 10. She stands in front of Vik Muniz' "Sarah Bernhardt from Rebus," 2010, digital C-print. Purchased with funds provided by the Friends of the Palmer Museum of Art, Collection of the Palmer Museum of Art, 2011.25. Image: Vik Muniz, courtesy of Sikkema Jenkins & Co., New York