Last week The Art Newspaper released the results of its annual survey, including the Top Ten most popular exhibitions in London based on number of visitors (David Hockney at Tate Britain was victorious). It then used the list to compare the cost of gallery-going in London, Paris and New York.
We’ve taken another approach, imagining that Londoners are so keen on their art that ten shows in a year simply wouldn’t cut it. We wanted to know how much it would have cost an intrepid art fan to attend ALL the blockbuster exhibitions in 2017 at ALL the major art galleries in London.
Understandably we needed to draw up a few rules in order to calculate this. Prices are based on the cost of a standard adult ticket (concessions and membership scheme discounts are available at most galleries), and are without any suggested donation amounts added on (which isn’t to say we’re against donating - go, give your cash freely and generously to London’s beloved art galleries!). Where weekend and weekday prices were available, the weekend price was chosen. Finally, we narrowed the list down to art galleries only – so Hokusai at the British Museum isn’t included, and neither is anything at the ever-popular V&A.
The galleries that did make it onto the list are: National Gallery, National Portrait Gallery, Barbican, Dulwich Picture Gallery, Tate Britain, Tate Modern, Whitechapel Gallery, and the Royal Academy of Arts.
The result? The honour of attending every major, ticketed art exhibition in London in 2017 would have cost you: £478.00. Add to that transport and coffee costs, and you're easily hitting above £500. A bargain price for world-class art or way too much?
If that price tag makes your head spin, remember that London is also home to some of the best permanent collections of art in the world, available to view entirely for free. So when payday is still a distant dream, you can always head to institutions including National Gallery or Tate to get a quick fix without shelling out.
To find out about the exhibitions you’ll be wanting to splash the cash on in 2018, check out Time Out’s hottest art exhibitions of 2018 here.