Photography inside Museums

March 18, 2007 § 6 Comments

Ron Mueck's Man in a Boat. Picture: Katarzyna Krzywania
Ron Mueck’s Man in a Boat. Picture: Katarzyna Krzywania

I’ve often wondered why you can’t take photographs in some museums or in some exhibitions and not others. The  e-artcasting blog entry “When Cameras Inside Museums Are Forbidden: Web2.0 and Copyrights” shed some light on the mystery.  The answer is pretty obvious really it’s all about lender agreements and copyright.


§ 6 Responses to Photography inside Museums

  • Thank you Francesca 🙂

    We truly believe that these restrictions on on-site recordings are becoming totally updated. Most art museums are currently trying to increase their audiences by building “significant” buildings and with that, targeting tourists and raising as well their ticket prices.

    In addition to this, museums are increasingly appealing to new audiences and new educational systems. E-learning, interaction, user generated content or edutaiment; are some buzz words that museums like to use. However, being consistent with this idea means understanding that we users have our own opinions, interests and reasons to visit a museum. One very worthy of respect would be taking some photos of the visit, as museums are becoming landmarks for mass tourism. This does not mean that what is currently happening in art museums would be the ideal situation, but finding the balance between users’ interaction and museums policies is difficult.

    I personally prefer less crowded museums with less people talking so loud and taking photos (and no one WITH FLASH!!!.) In this sense, my later experiences at MoMA have been a real pain. In fact, we are finishing our next post on e-artcasting which will relate to crowds in art museums 😉 Stay tuned!

  • Dan Wodarcyk says:

    Am unsure why I didn’t notice this topic before while visiting an art museum. I was recently on a trip to France and struck by the rampant camera phonage of the Mona Lisa, much to the guards disgust. A few days later at the Orsay, I was equally as struck by the openness of photography, with no flash of course. While at MoMA very recently, I again saw open photography except within the special exhibitions. I look forward to reading further about this and how it relates to crowds in your museums.

  • Francesca says:

    finding the balance between users’ interaction and museums policies is difficult.

    Is balance possible in such a fluid information age, I doubt it. It may reach the stage where museums have ‘no camera days’ to provide some respite for those who want to see instead of consume.

    I remember seeing the Mona Lisa about 8 years ago and the person next to me was recording her every move on a camcorder for about 10 minutes.

  • Good idea, a Day Without Cameras! However, I would also support the idea of a Photo Marathon Day. I am afraid that my heart is divided…

    The balance I meant among users’ interaction and museums’ policies related to aspects such as the cited quality of the on-site visits or potential copyright restrictions.

  • Francesca says:

    Yes I’m divided as well:) and very much like the idea of having both extremes available.

  • You made some respectable points there. I looked on the internet for the issue and located most people will associate with together with your website.

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