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Art & Art History: Local Museums & Galleries

Preparing to Research with an Art Museum's Collection

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, a good starting point for your research.
  • 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. 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.

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

Museums & Galleries