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Art & Art History: Local Museums & Galleries

Preparing to Research with an Art Museum's Collection

Salisbury, MD is in a great location for viewing fantastic art; many museums and galleries with major collections are located within a 3-hour driving radius. Here are some tips to help you with your research the next time you are visiting and working with an artwork or object in a museum's collection:

  • Check out the museum's website. Many art museums' websites include additional information about the artworks they have exhibited in the galleries, as well as those that are not currently on view. This information can give you background information and context that can serve as a starting point for your research. Additionally, it is always good to visit a museum's website before a visit as a way to learn more about the collection and the museum itself.
  • See if they have a library or archive. Libraries and archives housed within museums can be extremely helpful when conducting research on a specific object or an entire art collection. Libraries' collections typically reflect the range of objects held within a museum and are strong in those areas. Archives can have information specific to an object, including detailed notes, provenance, correspondence from previous owners, and other information. 
  • Take photos. Typically, museums will allow visitors to photograph works and objects in a museum as long as the museum owns them. Works of art that are being loaned from other institutions can be off-limits to photographs, so be sure to ask. Also, flash photography is generally not allowed in museums, as the light may damage light-sensitive works, and it can be distracting to other museum visitors.
  • Sketch away! Some museums will allow visitors to sketch (or even sometimes paint) within the galleries. Be sure to check the museum's website or call before you visit to verify their policies on such activities.
  • Don't touch. As a general rule, don't touch the artwork on display. Dirt and natural oils from our skin can damage the art.


Included below are a sampling of museums and galleries located nearby.

Museums & Galleries