Visiting a museum can be a sacred experience– one that is peaceful, focused, and intriguing. When even one visitor isn’t following proper museum etiquette, the sanctity of that tender space can shatter. To respect the space and the experiences that may happen within it, it is important that all visitors maintain proper etiquette.
Although museum etiquette is infrequently written out, the code of conduct is nonetheless expected of all museum visitors. As a refresher, here are some of those rules on how to be mindful and respectful to those around you:
- Do not bring in a selfie stick. This is not only a distraction, but can pose a risk to artworks and people around you.
- Do not touch the art. Items are in the museum to be preserved and observed, not touched. Oils from your hand can be extremely damaging to any sort of piece. To preserve art for future generations, do not touch, brush, or tap the artwork in any situation.
- If you insist on taking a photo with an artwork, wait until others are done observing. Furthermore, do not use flash– the light can be extremely harmful, especially to the more precious pieces.
- Do not block the art. Of course you may briefly stand in front of an artwork to observe the details, but be aware of those around you who may also wish to have a turn in your position.
- Speak quietly. Galleries are not the place to speak loudly — keep your voice down so that others may focus on their own experience, rather than hear your conversation.
- Save your overly critical comments until after leaving the museum, so you don’t spoil others’ experiences. This includes laughing or making inappropriate jokes.
- Lastly, take your time! Don’t race through in a huff. Art museums are meant to be relaxing environments to absorb creativity and culture.