Art lovers turned out in droves over the past six weeks to this year’s Archibald Prize exhibition, with more than 59,000 visitors.
The figures have beaten the 2015 statistics by more than 2000, with last year’s attendance sitting at 56,915.
The result overturns predictions that this year’s visitation would be lower, based on the experience of other regional galleries that have hosted the exhibition.
Art Gallery of Ballarat director Gordon Morrison said the exhibition was an opportunity to promote the gallery.
“We were constantly hearing people exclaiming what a beautiful gallery Ballarat has and what an amazing collection we hold,” he said.
He said the gallery owed an enormous debt to the more than 90 volunteers who donated 2835 hours of their time toward the exhibition.