It’s been a roar-some six months at Herbert Art Gallery & Museum thanks to a certain prehistoric guest.
Dippy, the Nation’s Favourite Dinosaur, has been wowing visitors in Coventry since 20 February and with the half a year milestone passed this weekend, another significant one has also been reached.
100,000 visitors have now been to see the UK’s most famous diplodocus.
Furthermore, the venue has seen a steep rise in footfall in the six months Dippy has been in residence comparatively to the same period last year, with the number of people who visited between February 2022 and August 2022 more than doubling for the same time period in 2023 – a total increase of 115 percent.
Kath Healion, operations manager for CV Life, the organisation which runs the Herbert, said: “Dippy has been massively popular with people of all ages and we’re thrilled to be reaching this milestone.
“We expected the exhibition to be a hit but we’re so happy to see 100,000 people have stepped foot in our venue in just six months.
“But what’s really exciting about this is the fact that of this 100,000 people, some of whom possibly might not have usually visited a venue like ours.
“So it’s exciting Dippy is getting feet through the door, but then people are being exposed to all different kinds of art and natural history when they inevitably move through the rest of the venue.”
One such example of this is the Divided Selves exhibition, which has become the most visited temporary art exhibition in the Herbert’s history, thanks in no small part to people taking in Dippy and then moving on to see other elements of the venue while they are there.
Dr Doug Gurr, Director of the Natural History Museum, said: “We are thrilled with Dippy in Coventry’s success. The Dippy effect is clearly in full force with the Herbert more than doubling their visitor numbers this year.
“Sharing the treasures of our collection with the widest possible audience is one of our top priorities and it is fantastic to see the impact Dippy is having.
“We look forward to our Jurassic giant inspiring more people to engage with and protect the natural world as Dippy in Coventry continues.”
As well as permanent and temporary art exhibitions, Dippy has allowed the venue’s natural history team to display some incredible local prehistoric specimen, including the huge Warwickshire-discovered and recently conserved ichthyosaur skull, which would have been swimming around the region during the Jurassic period.
There is also a 3D printed Dippy handling skull which allows visitors to really get to grips, quite literally, with the sheer size and feel of the creature, as well as a host of fun, free and educational programming at the gallery which is perfect for those late summer days before school starts back.