The Art Newspaper is out with its latest listing of top exhibitions and museum attendance for 2012 and in the category “Architecture and Design” there are some surprises. MoMA, the first museum in the world to have an architecture department, has led this category for many years and in 2011 as usual had the top three architecture and design exhibitions in the survey. But for 2012 St. Petersburg’s Hermitage Museum’s first show dedicated to a living architect, Santiago Calatrava: The Quest For Movement, broke MoMA’s monopoly of the category and became the most popular exhibit in the world.
The exhibit on the Spanish architect drew 430,000 visitors or 5,217 people per day during its run in St. Petersburg—making it the 23rd most popular show overall in the survey. The next two top-drawing shows were again at MoMA with their design show Century of the Child: Growing by Design and Foreclosed: Rehousing The Dream leading the way with nearly a million visitors for the two exhibits on 53rd Street. The Cooper Hewitt made the list this year with two exhibitions: Graphic Design: Now in Production and Design With the Other 90% coming in at number six and seven in attendance. Sadly as a result of its recent financial difficulties Rome’s MAXXI Museum was nowhere to be seen in this years list though in 2011 it had two exhibitions in the top ten.