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Art Gallery Etiquette That Won’t Get You Kicked Out

Posted by Jacob Hawthorne on

As a fine art photographer, you will find yourself frequenting galleries often. These are high end events that come with their own rules of etiquette. If you don’t follow them, you may find yourself getting thrown out which can be devastating for your reputation.

Fortunately, that won’t happen to you as long as you obey the commandments of art gallery etiquette. Here are some to consider.

Be Quiet

Art galleries are considered meditative spaces for many people. While it’s okay to do some talking, you won’t want to get rowdy or loud. That would be considered rude.

Don’t Stand Too Close to the Paintings

Many pieces of artwork are fragile. When they say ‘don’t touch’ that doesn’t mean you should stand inches away with your finger stretched out saying “I’m not touching you” (and no, I have never done that in an art gallery!)

Rather, you should stay a respectable distance away. If you get too close you may lose your balance or have someone hit into you and it might be all over. And let’s not even think about how much you will end up owing the museum!

Don’t Stand Too Close to Other People

When in an art gallery, you may be dying to get in to see a piece of art that other people are crowding around. While it may be okay to sneak in while one other person is looking, it’s rude to shove your way in if too many people are standing around. Wait for the crowd to dissipate instead.

Do Research to Find Out What’s Allowed and What’s Not

Before going to the gallery, take a look at the web site and fliers to find out if food is allowed inside and if it’s okay to take certain items in. You should also see if they will allow you to take pictures. Breaking rules can lead to an embarrassing confrontation with the guards.

Note, in most instances, neither food nor taking pictures will be permitted at a gallery. Flash is rarely allowed.

Keep Your Children Well Behaved

Children may or may not be allowed at a gallery. If they are permitted in, make sure they are well behaved. Have them keep their voices down and see to it that they don’t run around. If you have a baby, you may be best off leaving them at home. They won’t appreciate the artwork and they may end up causing a disturbance.

No Selfie Sticks

It’s important to be considerate of others when taking pictures in a gallery. A selfie stick can disturb other guests and may not be the best thing to have in a museum.

Be Respectful of Others Work

When you’re at a gallery you may not love every piece of work you see. It’s important to keep your opinions to yourself, especially if they are negative. Speaking up will make you seem petty and disrespectful and you may end up hurting someone’s feelings if they like the work.

If you go to a gallery, it’s important to be on your best behavior. The tips in this article will ensure you don’t offend the people around you…or end up getting thrown out. What etiquette to you use when you’re out viewing the arts?


Read more of a Conversation about Art or Shop Now at Schmidt Fine Art Gallery

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