Mario Testino shows draw a crowd at the MFA


With good reason, some wondered if the just-opened exhibits of famed photographer Mario Testino’s work would draw a crowd at the Museum of Fine Arts. After all, the celebrity shutterbug’s oversize images are a tad bawdy, with some of his supermodel subjects baring a bit more skin than the average MFA patron is used to seeing. So how are the two shows — “Mario Testino: In Your Face” and “British Royal Portraits” — doing? Pretty well, it seems, at least compared to other recent shows in the museum’s Gund Gallery. On its first day, “In Your Face” drew 1,858 visitors, a larger crowd than turned out for the opening of “Alex Katz Prints” (1,420), but not as many oglers as “Degas Nudes” (1,959). (The 1996 exhibit of Herb Ritts photos put them all to shame, with 2,318 visitors.) We’re also told the museum’s store is doing brisk business thanks to Testino. In the week since the exhibits opened, the store has sold 12 signed, limited-edition prints featuring models Kate Moss, Carmen Kass, and Natalia Vodianova, and actress Sienna Miller. The prints sell for $1,500 each. Ka-ching!

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