Why You Can’t Photograph Art in Museums

According to Artnews’ Carolina Miranda, it’s because of our good friend, copyright. I like articles like these because in-between thirteen paragraphs of lament and a quote from the free-culture hippies’ guru, Lawrence Lessig, is this little gem,

Naturally, there are museumgoers who will occasionally break the rules: a visitor to the Indianapolis Museum recently took pictures all over the building—including galleries that were off limits to photography—and then offered them for sale online. “We had to intervene,” says Anne Young, who oversees rights and reproduction for the museum. This type of behavior, however, is an extreme exception.

Well, my friends, it’s that “extreme exception” that one day will cost that museum a few million dollars, and then the museum will have to deaccession works by Prince, Levine, and Kruger to pay lawyers’ fees.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for i-Phones making people feel like Edward Weston. What I am critical of is this belief that because I take a picture of my dinner at Nobu that that somehow propels progress and creativity in Western culture. What it does do, in our current state of cultural affairs, is reaffirm the politically correct notion that everyone deserves a trophy.

Leave a comment