An unprecedented critical and popular success, the Cézanne exhibition has also proven to be a remarkable fiscal boon for Philadelphia, injecting an estimated $86.5 million into the city's economy. Cézanne, which had a combined attendance of one million people during its two previous stops in Paris and London, attracted a record-breaking 548,741 visitors to the exhibition at the Philadelphia Museum of Art during its nearly 14-week run (May 30 through September 1, 1996). During the Cézanne exhibition, building attendance (including Cézanne attendance) was recorded at an unprecedented 777,810 for a total economic impact of $122.5 million over the three months. The Museum's previous building attendance record-holder was From Cézanne to Matisse: Great French Paintings from The Barnes Foundation (January 31 through April 23, 1995), with more than 477,000 visitors.
The Philadelphia Museum of Art was the only North American site for the Cézanne exhibition, which included 112 paintings and some 70 watercolors and drawings representing every stage of the artist's career. Cézanne was made possible in Philadelphia by Advanta, and was organized by the Philadelphia Museum of Art and the Reunion des Musées Nationaux/Musée d'Orsay, Paris, in association with the Tate Gallery, London. Additional support was provided by grants from The Pew Charitable Trusts and the National Endowment for the Arts, by an indemnity from the Federal Council on the Arts and the Humanities, and by a generous contribution from Gisela and Dennis Alter. USAir was the official airline for the exhibition. NBC 10 WCAU was the media sponsor.
The $86.5 million economic impact of the Cézanne exhibition is an estimate suggested by a survey of more than 1,100 of the exhibition's attendees. The survey was conducted by the Museum under the direction of Gregory Linn, coordinator of Research and Evaluation. Results were reviewed by Jeffrey K. Smith, Professor and Acting Associate Dean of the Graduate School of Education at Rutgers University and survey specialist with the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and Lisa F. Wolf, Assistant Professor in the Department of Psychology at Felician College. The Cézanne visitor survey was modeled on a similar project conducted by the Museum during The Barnes Foundation exhibition, which found a $30-million economic impact resulting from that exhibition's stay at the Museum.
The Cézanne survey indicates that 9.3% of the exhibition's visitors were from Philadelphia; 29.2% from elsewhere in Pennsylvania; 59.3% from elsewhere in the United States; and 2.1% were international in origin. In 85.2% of cases, visitors from outside of Philadelphia noted that the Cézanne exhibition was "important" or "very important" to their decision to come to the city. 69.1% of out-of-town visitors to Cézanne stayed in hotels or motels.
Each individual from outside Philadelphia county who came to see Cézanne spent, on average, a total of $402.00 during his/her stay: $239.43 on hotels, restaurants, entertainment and local travel; $105.17 on shopping; and $57.40 at the Museum. According to R.C. Staab, Vice President for Communications and Tourism at the Philadelphia Convention and Visitors Bureau (PCVB), approximately 37,000 room nights were reserved at 15 Philadelphia hotels which participated in special Cézanne package programs organized by the Museum and the PCVB.
"Based on our experience during the Barnes Foundation exhibition, we had anticipated that 8,000 hotel packages would be booked for Cézanne; the final figure exceeds our projection by 21,000," said Staab. "The Cézanne exhibition made extraordinary contributions to Philadelphia's lodging, dining and retail industries, and substantially boosted Philadelphia's standing as a tourist destination. Cézanne provided hundreds of thousands of visitors with the opportunity to experience the remarkable depth and variety of Philadelphia's offerings; now that they have, it is inevitable they'll be back very soon!"
"When visitors return, as many have indicated a desire to do, they will have a chance to see more of the Museum including the 90 galleries of the permanent European collection which were renovated and reopened to the public last fall as the culmination of a 3 year effort on the part of the Museum to make all of its works of art more accessible and more handsomely installed. When considering the success of Cézanne, we have a great number of people to thank--the exhibition's lenders, a wonderfully supportive host city, the talented curatorial team headed by Philadelphia's Joseph Rishel and Françoise Cachin, Director of the Musées de France, every staff member in every department of the Museum and, most of all, Cézanne himself, whose genius inspired and so richly deserves all of this attention," notes Anne d'Harnoncourt, Director of the Philadelphia Museum of Art. "But to make the full splendor of the Cézanne exhibition known to all of those who might be interested, the Museum needed an enthusiastic and committed sponsor, and the Advanta Corporation was the ideal partner. We owe them an enormous debt of gratitude."
"We at Advanta are thrilled by the response to the Cézanne exhibition and delighted to have contributed to it. The many programs and projects for which we partnered with the Museum, including a children's CD-ROM, interactive website, PBS documentary, high school art contest and family guide to the exhibition, greatly extended access to Cézanne's art among the public. Because of the strength of this partnership, not only did Advanta reach its own philanthropic and visibility goals, but now celebrates this economic and cultural impact with the Museum, the city and the region," comments Dennis Alter, Chairman of Advanta.