Film, photography, and reproduction guidelines

The Cleveland Museum of Art is happy to comply with requests from members of the media to photograph and film the works of art in our galleries for the purposes of editorial news coverage. General, non-flash photography is allowed in many areas of the museum without special permission.

If you are a member of the media with a special request, such as photographing or filming works to which the museum does not hold a copyright (for example, contemporary works, works on loan or works in special exhibitions), or if your photography requires the use of flash lighting or other external equipment, you will need to make prior arrangements with our communications staff and be accompanied by a member of our team during your visit.

In order to protect the works of art within our collection from irreversible damage and to ensure their enjoyment for years to come, the following guidelines must be followed when filming or photographing works of art within our galleries:

  • Whenever possible, we request that you use existing light sources. Any external lighting or other equipment must be positioned at least 10 feet from any work of art.
  • Lights and light stands must be placed so that any heat generated from them will not endanger a work of art and so that falling light stands cannot hit any such work.
  • Total wattage of all lights must not exceed 1,200 watts.
  • Lights must not be left on unnecessarily and never for more than five minutes at a time without a cooling period. Lights will be turned off immediately if the temperature on the surface of any work of art increases appreciably or if the temperature in the room increases toward the limit of an additional 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Works may not be moved or altered in any manner.
  • No supplemental lights are permitted when photographing graphic arts (prints, drawings or photographs) and textiles, which are particularly fragile and most likely to be damaged by the use of such lighting equipment.
  • Certain works are protected by an artist’s copyright and can only be photographed in a general gallery view, in which the copyright-protected artwork is not the primary focus or a predominant element in the photograph. Should you wish to photograph works that fall into this category, advance permission is required. Some works may only be available for photography by agreeing to pay fees instituted by the copyright holder.
  • Special permission must be obtained for any commercial use of photographs.

Please contact us at mediadesk@clevelandart.org if you have questions or if you would like to arrange a visit.