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Kusama’s mirror rooms attract record crowds to Hirshhorn

“Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” at the Hirshhorn Museum. (Bill O’Leary/The Washington Post)

The Hirshhorn Museum set attendance records for the first week of “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors,” welcoming more than 14,000 visitors to its retrospective of the Japanese artist and Internet sensation.

To meet audience demand, the museum announced that it would stay open Wednesday nights starting March 22 and would make more same-day passes available to visitors starting Tuesday.

The Hirshhorn reported 32,500 visitors to its galleries and sculpture garden from Feb. 23 to March 1, the highest attendance for those dates in almost four decades.

“The public’s remarkable enthusiasm for “Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors” is thrilling and gratifying,” Deputy Director Elizabeth Duggal said in a statement. “We are constantly monitoring and improving the experience to offer visitors a remarkable journey through Kusama’s world.”

[How the Hirshhorn prepped for the Kusama exhibition]

The Hirshhorn will remain open until 8 p.m. on Wednesdays starting March 22, or 2½ hours later than usual. In addition, starting Tuesday, the museum will release more free walk-up timed passes for same-day visitors. Visitors may begin lining up at 9:30 a.m., and the passes will be distributed at 10 a.m.

The free, timed passes are required for admission to the Kusama show, which includes six mirror rooms. At noon on Monday, the museum will release 9,000 passes for entry between March 14 and 20. Last Monday, the museum reported 58,000 visitors to its website seeking advance passes for March 7 to 13. They were snapped up within minutes.