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Monday, April 4, 2011

A Survey: Which Museums Disallow Photographs and Why?

Since I'm still waiting to hear back from the Field Museum regarding some confusion over the no-photography policy with the Mammoths and Mastodons exhibit being run at the Anchorage Museum, I thought I'd get some input from folk who frequently visit museums and who were told, and for what reason, not to take photographs, or if the institution attempted to claim copyright ownership of photographs taken of museum exhibits.

I'd like to know for the sake of a future posting on this matter.


davor said...

I've encountered the usual no-commercial-photography thing many times, but the only time I've run into none being allowed at all are in these sorts of exhibitions, in which the material is presumably considered to be the intellectual property of the organizing institution. That said... when I saw Mammoths and Mastodons in chicago last year, I took a bunch of photos, though the light was low and none came out very well. I wasn't tackled by security, though.

Jay said...

I attended a Liaoning theropods exhibit in Japan some years ago (about 2005?), and they did not allow me to take any pictures. The slabs were secure (mostly behind glass).

I wondered then if that my taking images was perceived to counter the exhibition center's ability to sell marketing things (eg. postcards, guidebooks, with images on it). I just wanted to take pics because i keenly interested in the animals, and had no interest in using them for any commercial ploy. I had only ever seen other people's images of these specimens, either on the web or in publications before that, and was thinking that finally a chance to see these in person would great...despite this, I have no actual record of having done that!

Kentuckiana Mike said...

I have not had any issues about photography at museums. The only rules they seem to have are no flash or tripod use. The Louisville Science Center and the Indiana State Museum have temporary exhibits from time to time where the display owners will not allow photography for copyright reasons.