A family looks outside the window

Visitor Policies

Please help us maintain a safe environment for museum visitors and the art. For more information, please read our full visitor conduct policy. Please see below guidelines, and enjoy your visit!

While at the Museum

  • Please don’t touch or lean on objects or display cases unless otherwise indicated. Also, please stay at least two feet away from all objects.
  • No food or beverages in the galleries.
  • Security officers reserve the right to inspect all bags, boxes, or packages upon entry and exit.
  • No weapons, firearms, or hazardous materials are permitted on museum property.
  • Umbrellas, briefcases, backpacks, and bags over 14 by 17 by 8 inches can damage artworks and specimens. Please check them in lockers.*
  • Nothing is permitted to be carried on one’s back, including backpacks, drawstring bags, and purses.
  • Baby carriers must be worn facing front. Backpack-style carriers may be checked at admission desks. We are happy to loan strollers during your visit.
  • Children under the age of 12 must be accompanied by adults. Please don’t let children under the age of 12 push strollers or wheelchairs.
  • Children may not be carried on shoulders or held over objects and displays.
  • Have fun, but don’t run, push, or shove.
  • City ordinance prohibits smoking, including vapor devices, inside the museum and within 5 feet of entrance.

* Oversized objects may be checked at admission desks, but museum staff are not responsible for their safety. All items are subject to inspection, and the museum reserves the right to decide what should be checked.

Visitor Photography, Videotaping, and Drawing in the Galleries

We encourage visitors to capture and share still photography for personal, noncommercial use. To protect the objects being photographed and for the safety of visitors there are certain guidelines that must be followed:


  • Only handheld cameras are allowed.
  • Handheld video cameras are permitted in the Carnegie Museum of Natural History only.
  • No auxiliary flash, lighting equipment, tripods, large camera bags, or selfie sticks are permitted.
  • Nothing is permitted to be carried on one’s back including back packs, drawstring bags, and purses.
  • No flash use permitted on any artwork.

Please be aware that some special exhibitions, galleries, and individual artworks may have restrictions on photography due to loan and copyright requirements. Refer to the floor plan for galleries and exhibitions in which photography is not permitted; individual artworks with photography restrictions are marked by a symbol on the label.


  1. Please be respectful. Do not disturb other visitors while taking photographs.
  2. Visitors must maintain a safe distance (at least two feet) from artworks when taking photos or selfies.
  3. Do not touch the artwork.
  4. We encourage artists to take inspiration from the works on view in our galleries and spaces. Only pencils and paper are permitted in the galleries; please do not bring pens, paints, or inks.

Copyright, Permissions, and Image Rights:

Carnegie Museums of Art and Natural History are not responsible for any uses of visitor photography that infringe upon third-party copyrights or other rights.

  1. Visitors to the Museum may be photographed, videotaped, or otherwise recorded. By attending, visitors grant the Museum permission to use photographs and/or audiovisual recordings in which they appear for archival, documentary, publicity, advertising, or other purposes.
  2. For information on requesting image rights and digital files for publication and other commercial uses, or to order your own prints of works in Carnegie Museum of Art’s collection, visit Rights & Reproductions.

Professional Photographer and Videographer Policies

We require professional photographers and videographers to contact us about using our spaces for their business needs. Please refer to the below information if you are a professional photographer or videographer interested in learning more about shooting on location:

  • Please reach out to Nicole Kirk Straub, Special Events Manager at Carnegie Museum of Art and Natural History straubn@carnegiemuseums.org to request a Location Agreement Form.
  • You must submit this form for review and approval at least 21 days in advance of the intended date of the shoot, as permission is required for all professional photography and video shoots.
  • Please note that there is a fee for all shoots taken before or after museum hours; this fee is determined by the amount of space and time required for the shoot.

Website Policies

Press Policy

Journalists requesting images to accompany media coverage of museum exhibitions, installations, or events may email the Press Room at press@cmoa.org. More information for journalists is available from the Press Room.