Ban photos in museums

Old Oct 9th, 2018, 05:32 AM
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I should say that it doesn't actually *bother* me, the idea that people are taking photos, though the point about the damaging flash is a very good point. I can see though where it would be very difficult for a museum to oversee the situation, making sure photos can be taken but no flash takes place. They could post someone at every well known painting but what a hassle and expense! And even then, the flash has done it's additional damage before the guard steps in.

Where I find myself bothered by the photography is in those people who can't seem to do their thing quickly. No, no... that one is blurry and you weren't smiling and maybe I should take another one zoomed in. And that's not counting the time to get positioned and make sure it's in the right mode and so on. There just seems to be quite a few people that get a bit more inconsiderate with a camera in their hand. Not everyone, of course, but it would be a lot to expect that museums only ban the inconsiderate ones. So to me, in order to make sure more people get a chance and to see to it that there's a minimal amount of mucking around with cameras and such in front of such an in-demand object, it doesn't seem terribly unreasonable that a museum might choose to eliminate the extra hassle.
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Old Oct 9th, 2018, 05:42 AM
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>>Though the point about the damaging flash is a very good point. I can see though where it would be very difficult for a museum to oversee the situation, making sure photos can be taken but no flash takes place. <<

This is practically a non-issue now with the advent of UV glass, that galleries are generally far better lit nowadays and that smartphone flashes emit far less damaging light than flash units in regular cameras. There are a lot of studies done on this, including National Gallery in D.C.
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Old Oct 9th, 2018, 06:24 AM
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>>>I bet you won't in front of a Vigee Le Brun upstairs in the Sully Wing<<<

Ahh, my girl Vigee!
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Old Oct 9th, 2018, 08:51 AM
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It seems most museums allow photography (almost always without flash) and for good reason. Art is meant to be appreciated -- not just for a fleeting moment but as a lasting memory which might need a little boost. If you can take a picture and enjoy it as a screensaver or photo roll on your home TV, why not? One is allowed to stand in front of a painting and stare and enjoy it for a long period of time in a museum. I fail to see why lifting a tiny phone camera to take an actual shot of it while you're standing there should bother anyone. But of course something will always bother some people if they don't do it. Is now the time to talk about people being outraged by people discreetly lifting a phone to take a picture without flash of their meal in a restaurant. How does that bother someone else? If having that memory gives them pleasure without hurting anyone else, then why not? Same with art.


As to flash, most museum have lots of guards stationed around and will stop anyone from using a flash, and I realize sometimes people do it by accident without realizing they didn't turn off the flash. But most people I've seen taking pictures honor the no flash requirements. Today's cell phone cameras work better without flash anyway.
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Old Oct 9th, 2018, 11:16 AM
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It's not the small phone that gets in the way of others. The phone lens is wide angle, so to get an artwork to fill the screen for a photo, the person stands right in front of the art, centered, and close. This blocks the view of everyone else. Viewers unbothered by the impulse to to take a photo can stand back, not only centered, and need not be that close, so many can view the artwork at one time. The mobile phone photographer blocks the view of all others and is supremely selfish.
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Old Oct 9th, 2018, 11:40 AM
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Originally Posted by schlegal1 View Post
I don't see the point of taking pics in museums but I also don't have a problem if others wish to do it. People are obnoxious in crowds, with or without their cameras. I agree with what LucieV said about it.

I also don't think "enriching and meditative" is the only way to have a museum experience. I have had those plenty but I have also enjoyed silly museum experiences just as much (finding all the dogs in paintings, or picking out the weird facial expressions, or finding the weird little demons in Renaissance art). If someone else chooses to take pics of the art to enjoy it that's fine with me.
I agree. I guess if the picture takers were hogging up the space and taking an inordinate amount of time to the detriment of the other patrons, I'd be annoyed. But if not, I couldn't care less if they want to take a selfie with the Mona Lisa. This thread reminds me of our last trip to NYC a couple of years ago. We met two friends there who flew up from Merida. We ended up going to the Museum of Modern Art - mostly because we happen to be walking by it. There were a few "exhibits" that just begged for me to take photos - because they were so ridiculous.



Last edited by tom42; Oct 9th, 2018 at 11:45 AM.
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Old Oct 9th, 2018, 11:47 AM
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My guilty admission: I hate museums.

I loved art history, took several art classes in college, like to draw, and like to read about art in books. But I really, really hate the museum experience. It's too overwhelming and there are too many people and too many things to look at and everyone walks too slowly. Every time I'm in a museum, I just want to get out as quickly as possible.

I feel the same way about large department stores and casinos.
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Old Oct 9th, 2018, 11:52 AM
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You lost me at casinos.
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Old Oct 9th, 2018, 11:58 AM
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<<< everyone walks too slowly >>>

You must be talking about my husband. With very little art background, his appreciation of art took me totally by surprise when we took our first trip together 5 million years ago; he was as, if not more, into the experience than I. He's happy to stroll and stare, stroll and stare, and he doesn't give a damn as to which works are "must-sees", he just likes what he likes. That said, he has a time limit of an hour, 90 minutes max. But that's ok, because that's my limit, too. Viewing really good stuff is exhausting, imo.

Anyway, we both love museum restaurants, too, so that's always a bonus.
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Old Oct 9th, 2018, 12:09 PM
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tom, you didn't do the museum right. I expect a 500 word post-essay by tomorrow morning on the enriching, meditative experience of half a Marilyn Monroe mannequin in a file box.

LucieV, what are your favorite museum restaurants? I tend to like them, too. Hands down the best food (and best experience) was at the African American Museum of History and Culture last year in Washington D.C.
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Old Oct 9th, 2018, 12:15 PM
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If it’s well hung I’ll take a picture.
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Old Oct 9th, 2018, 12:23 PM
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logandog. Again.
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Old Oct 9th, 2018, 12:29 PM
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schlegal, seriously, I don't think I have a favorite. I actually love our local SF De Young and Palace of Fine Arts, where we have breakfast or lunch at least a few times a year.
Most memorable: the Gulbenkian museum in Lisbon, where, as we were enjoying eating outside in that beautiful setting, a big fat bird swooped down, landed on our table, and started eating my sandwich. It'd have been one thing if he'd swooped down and taken away my sandwich, but the brazenness of his casually eating it right in front of me was almost admirable!
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Old Oct 9th, 2018, 12:39 PM
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LV, my husband likes museums, too. I just get too overwhelmed by too many things to see. I'm pretty content to sit by myself for an hour or two while he wanders.
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Old Oct 9th, 2018, 12:50 PM
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It is overwhelming, kureiff, no ifs ands or buts about it. It's a lot of sensory input.
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Old Oct 9th, 2018, 12:55 PM
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Originally Posted by LucieV View Post
It is overwhelming, kureiff, no ifs ands or buts about it. It's a lot of sensory input.
And for the Type A personalities, the annoyance of knowing you cannot actually see it all.
Signed, schlegal1, a woman who reads magazines cover-to-cover, no skipping about.
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Old Oct 9th, 2018, 01:08 PM
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>>>>LucieV, what are your favorite museum restaurants? <<<<

Great question. I love all museums, big and small. I love their cafes & restaurants. I love their gardens and I love their gift shops. My husband is good for about 90 minutes regardless of his interest in the museum.

My two favorites museum restaurants, more for the visuals and less about the food, are:

The Gamble, Poynter & Morris Rooms at the Victoria & Albert museum in London. (https://www.vam.ac.uk/articles/a-fir...reshment-rooms). Tea & cake or a glass of wine and a salad here make me happy.

The Kogod Courtyard at the National Portrait Gallery in DC (Kogod Courtyard National Portrait Gallery). Food is ish but the soaring ceiling and architecture are always a peaceful respite in the middle of downtown.
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Old Oct 9th, 2018, 01:16 PM
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I am a fan of museums too. Large and small, I like them all. And although I am not much of a shopper, I'll spend money in a good museum gift shop - but it has to be a good gift shop, not just one with the same souvenirs you see everywhere else.
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Old Oct 9th, 2018, 01:21 PM
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I don't really care if people are taking pictures in a museum if it's allowed and they are not interfering with others' ability to view the art -- which is probably 85% of the time on the latter. But if I'm in a gallery room with a half dozen people, I don't care if they're taking a selfie or just documenting their experience.

The presidential portraits exhibition at National Portrait Gallery in DC reopened early this year. It includes the Obama portrait painted by Kehinde Wiley. At least as of two months ago there was a pair of velvet ropes for people to form a short line and take or have their picture taken next to the portrait.
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Old Oct 9th, 2018, 01:22 PM
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Originally Posted by november_moon View Post
I'll spend money in a good museum gift shop - but it has to be a good gift shop, not just one with the same souvenirs you see everywhere else.
Agreed. What are your favorites?
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