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Gallery Guidelines

Reynolds Center

Please help us protect our artworks by respecting the following guidelines.

  • Smoking, eating, or drinking in the galleries is prohibited.
  • Please do not touch any objects on display; the salts and oils naturally produced on your hands are damaging to artworks, even sculpture and furniture.
  • Suitcases, large umbrellas, and backpacks are not allowed in the galleries. Security officers may ask visitors to hand-carry smaller backpacks, or wear them on the front. Bag check is not offered, but free lockers are available for smaller items in the lobbies.
  • Please show consideration for your fellow visitors by limiting the use of talking on cellular phones in the galleries. It is fine to use your device for a cell phone tour of an exhibition or the Luce Foundation Center’s audio tour.
  • Children should be carefully supervised. Running, roller skating, and horseplay endanger the safety of both the artworks and other visitors.


Handheld photography and video for personal use are permitted in the permanent collection galleries and in the Luce Foundation Center, but not in selected special exhibitions or in the Lunder Conservation Center. Please check the wall signage to confirm. No tripods are allowed. Commercial photography must be pre-arranged with the museum’s Office of Public Affairs.


Bags, boxes, and packages may be inspected for security reasons upon entrance or exit, and officers may limit the size of what you may carry into the galleries. If you left something behind after your visit, please call the Smithsonian’s Lost and Found Office at (202) 633-5630.


Sketching is permitted only in permanent collection galleries and the Luce Foundation Center, not in special exhibitions. Please be extremely careful with your drawing tools; show respect for the artwork and your fellow visitors. Drawing boards and sketch pads may be no larger than 18 x 24 inches and we allow “dry” media only: pencils, wax crayon, conte crayon and erasers. Pens, loose ink, fountain pens, oil crayon, paint (including watercolors), easels or stands, and charcoal or pastel in stick form are not allowed.