Debate | Should Visitors be Allowed to Photograph Artwork in Galleries, Museums and Art Shows3F


    This post is by Jason Horejs, regular contributing writer for FineArtViews. Jason Horejs and his wife, Carrie, own Xanadu Gallery in Scottsdale, AZ., which they founded in 2001. Jason also publishes, a resource for artists interested in creating and strengthening relationships with galleries, as well as those looking to sharpen their own selling skills.




    I received the following email from a reader, and artist and studio owner:

    "Hi Jason,


    Love your Red dot blog!


    Here’s a topic that I would love to see addressed:


    Ours seems to be the age of phone cameras, selfies, and instant gratification, and I wondered how artists/exhibitors/galleries should handle this. We have a studio/gallery that has some public hours. We do have a sign posted that photographs of the art are not allowed because of copyright issues. Yet I am often confronted with visitors sneaking photos of everything they like, or just expecting that they can, and feeling indignant when they can’t. Also students come in working on projects, needing the photo of the art for their essay. Just this afternoon I allowed a high schooler to take photos of two of my entertainment scenes related to his jazz playing…but then I was left wondering just what his project was, and if my art is just going to be part of some visual mash-up.


    I am happy to email medium files of art to interested collectors, but that is a time-consuming follow-up process. And many visitors just want it now, at their own convenience, and don’t even want the formality of giving an email address to get an image.


    I also notice that in public spaces such as libraries, museums, people expect to snap away. What if you are a contemporary artist in a museum show – do you have to resign yourself to allowing everyone to take high resolution photos of your art? They don’t have enough staff to police anyway in most smaller museums.


    How does Xanadu handle this? Other exhibitors in arts festivals etc?


    I’m in a quandary because photos from receptions, with people with the art, do seem to be helpful for publicity, but then where do you draw the line? Hard to say you can photograph the people, but not the art straight on. How do we balance access, the public’s enthusiasm and involvement with protecting our art from being used without recompense?


    Love to hear your and Barney’s thoughts,"






    To read Jason's response to "Should Visitors be Allowed to Photograph Artwork in Galleries, Museums and Art Shows?", continue to the original full article on RedDotBlog ....






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