PORTLAND — The Portland Museum of Art finished 2012 with its highest attendance in more than a decade and the second-highest attendance in museum history.

Nearly 178,000 people visited the museum in 2012, a 34 percent increase over 2011 attendance. The museum also broke its monthly attendance record, with nearly 26,000 visitors during December.

“We were successful on so many fronts,” PMA Director Mark H.C. Bessire said. “Most importantly, we raised our national reputation in the art world with the opening of the Winslow Homer studio and the exhibition ‘Weatherbeaten.'”

The museum, at Congress Square, is Maine’s largest art museum and showcases fine and decorative arts from the 18th century to the present.

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