To accommodate the extraordinary number of visitors to Matisse Picasso, Tate Modern will open late every night from 19 July until 22.00, culminating in a 24 hour opening on the last weekend. Opening at 10.00 on Saturday 17 August, the exhibition will shut 36 hours later, for the final time, at 22.00 on Sunday 18 August.
Over 250,000 people have now visited Matisse Picasso, sponsored by Ernst & Young. The exhibition, which opened on 11 May, the second anniversary of Tate Modern’s opening, has already proved to be the most successful to date and will be one of the five most popular exhibitions in the history of Tate when it closes on 19 August. It is anticipated that some 400,000 visitors in total will see the show.
For those wanting to make a night of it, there are a number of special exhibition tours of Matisse Picasso. Writer and jazz legend George Melly will take the first tour at 11pm, followed by a midnight tour with Tim Marlow, presenter of Channel 5’s recent programmes on Tate. Curator of the exhibition, Lizzy Cowling, will give her thoughts on the exhibition at 01.00 on Sunday morning. Channel 5’s programme Tim Marlow on Matisse Picasso and the recent BBC 2 Omnibus two-part programme on Matisse will be screened throughout the night in the Auditorium on Level 2. Tim Marlow on Matisse Picasso is due to be repeated on Channel 5 at 7pm on Friday 19 July.
Some 20,000 Matisse Picasso exhibition catalogues and some 12,000 of the smaller guide, Interpreting Matisse Picasso, have been purchased on site alone. The best selling product is the Picasso Artist and Model Fridge Magnet (Picasso’s cartoon depicts an artist, probably Matisse, sketching a female nude at close quarters), of which 3,500 have been sold so far. Over 6,000 exhibition mugs have been sold. The favourite postcards to date are Matisse’s Flowing Hair and Blue Nude I and Picasso’s Still Life with Pitcher and Apples. Over 70,000 teas and coffees have been sold in the Exhibition Expresso Bar since 11 May.