updated 3/4/2009 3:46:04 PM ET 2009-03-04T20:46:04

The Portland Museum of Art has discovered that there's nothing like a little rock 'n roll to bring in the crowds.

The museum in Portland, Maine, drew a record 17,839 visitors in February, thanks to the popularity of its exhibition "Backstage Pass: Rock & Roll Photography." The figure broke the mark set by an Ansel Adams exhibition in 2000.

"Backstage Pass" draws from the nation's largest private collection of photographs of rock musicians. Many of the 268 photographs of artists including Jimi Hendrix, Johnny Cash, the Clash and Madonna have been rarely seen in public.

Chief Curator Tom Denenberg says the exhibition "exceeded all of our expectations." It remains on view through March 22.

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