Good News, Seattle’s Experience Music Project and Science Fiction Museum to Allow Photography
Photo by papalars.
I was pleased to read this morning over at the Seattle PI that Seattle’s EMP museum will be lifting their ban on photography beginning September 26th. I’ve long wanted to visit this museum, but never have due to their photographer unfriendly policy in the past. The EMP, which is in a beautiful Frank Gehry-designed building near the base of Seattle’s Space Needle is a museum dedicated to the history of popular music and science fiction. I’ve always wanted to shoot it and imagine that the contents inside the museum would represent a photographer’s treasure trove of possible material. Flash will still be prohibited but non-flash photography will be allowed.
From the Seattle PI:
“Everyone in the museum is just thrilled this is the new policy,” said spokeswoman Maggie Skinner. “(The old policy) was kind of outdated.”
Like many museums, EMP/SFM has had a strict no-photograph rule since the Experience Music Project opened in 2000. But as more people take pictures from cell phones and small digital cameras and share them online, that rule has become almost impossible to enforce.
Not to mention a little foolish.
“From a marketing perspective, people sharing photographs is the best positive publicity you can get,” Skinner said.
The PI notes that the Seattle Art Museum is still sticking to it’s photography ban. In the article the SAM spokeswoman Nicole Griffin cites copyright concerns as the reason why they don’t allow it.
Personally I think copyright concerns as a reason for limiting photography at a museum is pretty stupid. There is no liability on the part of any museum for infringing use of photographs taken by their patrons and the vast majority of people will never use those images commercially anyways. The Seattle Art Museum should follow the lead of other major contemporary art museums like the the MOMA in New York and the SF MOMA in San Francisco, along with museums like the Met, the Chicago Art Institute and the de Young and many other well regarded fine arts museums, and drop their ban on photography as well. Banning photography in a museum is an antiquated practice designed to force patrons into spending money on overpriced books and postcards in a museums gift store rather than allowing objects and art to be shared as broadly as possible.
Anyways, nice work on the part of the EMP. The next time I’m in Seattle I’ll definitely plan on visiting.
Thanks to pjmixer for the heads up on the change in policy!