A couple of notes for discussion:
Often, artworks have restrictions about photography not placed by the museum, but rather by the artist or lender of that artwork. The museum is contractually obliged to disallow photography of that work for reasons of copyright. Please check with the museum about the Rights and Reproductions of an artwork before photographing it - by doing so, you may be in violation of a contract from the artist or lender, not the museum.
Museum security is, in most cases, informed of the photography policy of the museum and of the art contained therein. If they are told that the Picasso on display has been restricted by the lender for photography, they are upholding the contract. They do not, as a generality, spread misinformation.
Please, please please never place your lens against the glass case of an object. Scratched plexi-glas is very expensive to replace.
18.104.22.168 19:52, 23 February 2010 (UTC)
- The museum would be in violation of the contract with the artist or lender. The photographer cannot be in violation of a contract that they did not sign. -- NotALawyer
- I agree. Please photograph especially these works by all means (since they might be gone for good for dozens of years if lender retracts them from public display at any time). --FA2010 18:08, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
"Often useless"[edit source]
I challenge the opinion that museum photographs that are not perfect are "useless". I have taken thousands of photos in museums, and not all of them are good, but the vast majority of the artwork I uploaded is not available in any other form on the internet, sometimes as a thumbnail, but mostly not at all, neither in a text description nor in a photograph. Even a less-than-perfect photo can provide helpful information as to the location of an artwork and for at least a first glimpse on it. It can be very helpful for all kinds of research. Example: there are a lot of ethnology museums in Europe, and hardly any of them offers a good database of their holdings online. How should an African or a Polynesian find out about (his own!) cultural heritage if not in projects like the Commons. It's good that we have as many of such objects as possible, and if a couple of images are a bit blurred or have stripes from museum lamps mirroring in showcases, well, then may it be so. Anyone can try and make a better photo and upload that, too. --FA2010 18:08, 30 January 2011 (UTC)
- Agreed. I have changed "useless" to "best avoided" and the following sentence to suggest that although museum photography without an appointment was difficult, it is not impossible. Mwanner 18:13, 7 January 2012 (UTC)