Local News

Visitors to Duke's El Greco art show disappoint

Posted November 13, 2008 6:31 p.m. EST
Updated November 14, 2008 4:03 p.m. EST

— One of the biggest exhibitions presented at Duke University's new art museum failed to draw the crowds and money it expected.

The Nasher Museum of Art opened three years ago, and hosted a show this year of works by El Greco and other Spanish Old Masters.

The university said it was one of the most important shows of its kind ever presented in the Southeast. The works date to the early 1600s, when Spain's empire was at its peak.

The exhibit drew about 73,000 visitors – short of the 100,000 the museum had hoped for – before it ended Sunday, museum officials said,

Ticket sales were at about $462,000, about $500,000 short of the $1 million the museum anticipated. About half of the funding for the $2 million exhibit came from donations.

Museum Director Kimberly Rorschach said the Nasher will have to tighten its belt for the rest of the year, and could cancel a summer exhibition.