Press Release

AAMD Issues Art Museums By the Numbers 2015

New York, NY

Art Museums By the Numbers 2015 is AAMD’s annual release of aggregated data from its member survey

With statistics on revenue, expenses, attendance, and collections, it provides a snapshot of the field during the past year. It also includes a comparison with figures from the 2014 survey, which point to the continued stability of the field. As the data set grows annually, it will become an increasingly rich source of information to support understanding of museums’ operations and their service to the public.

Findings include:

  • Museums derive support from diverse sources: Art museums continue to have a wide range of sources for funding, enabling them to sustain stability in changing economic environments. The single largest source of support for museums was income from their endowments, at 21% of overall revenue.
  • Private giving continues to underpin museum operations: Individuals continued to provide strong support for art museums in their communities, with memberships and individual giving accounting for 16% of overall revenue. In addition, 85% of works entering art museum collections were acquired through gifts or bequests. 
  • Museums provide an important public service: Attendance at AAMD museums was over 60 million in 2015. Visitors spent an average of $8 per visit, while museums spent approximately $55 per visitor. Museums’ diversified sources of support make this investment in public service possible.
  • New data point on admissions: In 2015, one third of AAMD museums offered free admission, 60% had a set admission fee, and slightly over 5% had a suggested donation admission policy. 

AAMD will continue to release Art Museums By the Numbers on an annual basis, with longitudinal data building over time. To download the full report, please visit

About AAMD

The Association of Art Museum Directors, representing 236 art museum directors in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico, promotes the vital role of art museums throughout North America and advances the profession by cultivating leadership and communicating standards of excellence in museum practice. Further information about AAMD’s professional practice guidelines and position papers is available at


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