Museum Etiquette 101

 In MOA Features

Whether it’s your first time in an art museum or your hundredth, it’s nice to know what’s expected when you walk in the front doors. We’ve provided a few basics of museum etiquette to help you to have a wonderful experience as you visit any art museum!

Take phone calls outside of the gallery. Having a conversation on the phone in the gallery can be distracting to those enjoying the artworks. Similarly, it’s great to have fun and enjoy the museum with your friends or family, but try and keep loud conversations and other loud noises out of the gallery.

No food or drink in the gallery. Spills happen to the best of us, but spills on the gallery floor are messy and spills on the artwork are devastating.

Check large bags and all backpacks—the front desk staff will be happy to help you! When enraptured with a piece of art, it’s easy to back into a another artwork with your backpack touching it without you even realizing. A large purse can accidentally swing into another patron or even a sculpture or artwork.

Sketching in the galleries is permitted by getting clearance through the Registrar. To get approval for sketching, please email

Absolutely no flash photography in the galleries. If you have a question about taking a picture for your own personal use, please ask a security guard or member of the staff.

Perhaps the most crucial of all is PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH THE ART! Touching the art damages it irrevocably. Please watch your children to make sure little hands don’t find their way to the artworks. Climbing on the sculptures is also not permitted—including the sculptures outside in the sculpture garden.

Lastly, ask questions! The front desk staff is very happy to help tell you what’s on, explain the exhibitions, and provide information about upcoming events at the museum. We are so happy you’ve come to visit!







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