General Policy

Visitors may photograph objects from the Johnson Museum's permanent collection for their own personal use. Permission must be given by the Registrar or Curator for the use of any special equipment in the galleries (tripod, lights, etc.). Electronic flashes are not permitted without prior permission.

Loaned objects may not be photographed by the general public without the prior consent of the lender. Visitors are not allowed to take photos in temporary exhibitions that are not drawn from the Johnson Museum's own collection.


Members of the press and other Cornell departments are permitted to photograph exhibitions with prior permission from the Editorial Manager. The press member must identify themselves by showing  identification and signing in with the Museum's receptionist, and wear a provided PRESS badge. Equipment bags are subject to search. Press members are allowed during opening receptions and special events. Flashes are allowed for general gallery photos by press members only (not for close-ups of individual objects).

Photography or Film Projects

Projects involving photography or film/video in the galleries are allowed with prior approval—at least one week beforehand—from Museum staff. 

Before a project is approved, a Project Permission Form (PDF) must be completed and the proper signatures acquired. This form must be submitted at least one week prior to the start of the project. If a student is proposing the project, a letter of reference from the teacher of the course may be required.

Museum staff members will meet or communicate with the requestor to discuss the request. Potential danger to works of art or people, scheduling conflicts, other events and workload that day, availability of staff to supervise the shoot, benefit to Museum or Cornell, additional security costs, potential for artwork to be moved, previous contact with the applicant, and any special circumstances will all be taken under consideration.

If approved, an appropriate fee will be determined (based on number of hours, when during the day, special effort in moving works, etc.); as a rule, students are not charged, except under special circumstances.

Approval or rejection of the project will be communicated to the requestor. If approved, the determined fee will also be communicated at this time and must be pre-paid.

Contact Andrea Potochniak, Editorial Manager, with any questions about our photography policies.