Visitor Tips and Policies

Guidelines and Policies for Visiting the Museum

  • Feel free to look, gaze or examine with your eyes, but please do not touch any works of art—fingerprints leave behind damaging oils. Keep your hands to yourself and be sure to walk carefully so you do not bump something accidentally. 
  • Please stay at least twelve inches away from labels, display cases and gallery wall surfaces to help keep the Museum clean for other guests to enjoy.
  • Leave coats, backpacks and other large bags in your vehicle or at the Front Desk.
  • Only pencils may be used in the galleries; the use of pens and markers is prohibited.
  • No food, drink, gum or smoking in the Museum.
  • Think twice before making or receiving cell phone calls in the Museum—it is a distraction to others.
  • Service animals are permitted in the Museum. Pets are not permitted on the Museum campus. 
  • Feel free to take videos and photos without flash or additional lighting. No photography is permitted in Special Exhibitions unless otherwise noted.
  • Weapons are not permitted in the Museum (exception: law enforcement officers).
Please note: A visit to the San Antonio Museum of Art or participation in any of the Museum’s programs constitutes an agreement by the participant and/or the parent or guardian to authorize the Museum to photograph or film participants and/or their artwork from time to time, without compensation, for possible use in publicity, website and marketing efforts.

Group Responsibilities and Guidelines

Group Guidelines:

  • Visitors may not touch the works of art. 
  • Stay at least twelve inches away from labels, display cases, and gallery wall surfaces.
  • Food, drinks, gum and smoking are prohibited.
  • Flash photography is prohibited.
  • Only pencils may be used in the galleries; the use of pens and markers is prohibited.
  • Leave coats, backpacks and other large bags in your vehicle or at the Front Desk.
  • Please put phones on silent and refrain from answering calls during your visit.
  • The Museum reserves the right to refuse admission to any group or dismiss any group for misconduct.

Chaperone Responsibilities:

  • Chaperones are responsible for the behavior of their group at all times—make sure students understand and observe the guidelines listed above. 
  • One chaperone is required per ten students. Chaperones must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Stay with your assigned group throughout the Museum visit and know where group members are at all times.
  • Avoid side conversations with other students or adults when on a guided or docent-led tour.
  • Attend promptly to any student causing a disruption; if necessary, remove disruptive students from the galleries and leave them at the Front Desk until tour is complete.
  • In case a student becomes ill, attend to the needs of the student. Security staff members can assist with first aid or cleanup procedures.
  • In case of severe weather or a fire emergency, follow instructions given by the security staff.

Before Your Visit:

  • Please review all guidelines and responsibilities with your group prior to your arrival.
  • See Getting Here for directions. Free parking is provided for personal vehicles and buses.
  • Plan to arrive at the Museum fifteen to twenty minutes before your scheduled visit.
  • Upon arrival, check in at the Museum's Front Desk—full payment for admission is due at the time of your arrival.
  • Any group arriving twenty minutes late cannot be guaranteed its scheduled guided tour.
  • If you are going to be late, please notify the Front Desk immediately by calling (210) 978-8100.

Photography Policy

General Photography Rules

Visitors to the San Antonio Museum of Art are welcome to take souvenir photos and video of the exterior and interior of the Museum for their personal use. Flash photography, tripods, and selfie sticks may not be used in the galleries; they may be used on the grounds with advance permission from Museum staff. Visitors are asked to stay at least one foot away from works of art and display cases. The Museum cannot authorize photography of works of art in special exhibitions or on loan to the museum. 

Subjects are asked to wear appropriate attire, and not to block walkways, doorways, entrances, or climb on any sculptures or trees. The San Antonio Museum of Art reserves the right to restrict access to photographers during Museum events and activities. In order to avoid conflict with certain large groups, please contact the Museum in advance. 

Please ask a Visitors Services representative if you have any questions concerning these rules. 

Portrait Photography

On the Grounds: Photography at the San Antonio Museum of Art is available at an hourly rate of $20 for photographers, both professional and amateur, taking formally posed, portrait-type photographs on the museum grounds. For groups of ten or more, the hourly fee is $50.00. This fee, either in cash or check, is required for each separate photo session and can be paid at the front desk upon arrival. The Museum does not provide changing rooms, and restrooms may not be used as dressing facilities.  

Inside the Museum: The Museum is pleased to make available limited opportunities for professional and amateur photographers to take formal photographs in the Museum. Portrait photography inside the Museum is available by appointment only for a fee of $100 per hour, payable by cash or check. Photographers pay upon arrival for the photo session.  Photographers must make appointments at least 48 hours in advance by calling (210) 978-8100 on Tues-Fri 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (Museum is closed on Mondays).  

Commercial Photography

Commercial photography and filmmaking at the San Antonio Museum of Art can be arranged. However, we require that sufficient advance notice be given to the Director of Marketing at (210) 978-8136. Commercial photography and videography sessions will be supervised by one or more members of the Museum staff.

Fees for Commercial Photography: 

  • Non-member San Antonio businesses - $500 (reduced rates are available for Corporate Members)
  • Out-of-town businesses - $1,000
  • Full payment of the location fee must be received prior to the start of the shoot.

Additional fees may include: 

  • Police/Security (mandatory for large sessions) -  $150 
  • Overtime - $30 for each additional hour after four hours
  • Interior photography after museum hours  - $500 per hour

If closure of any property is required due to a film or photo shoot, an additional cost will be incurred. 

All photographers using the San Antonio Museum of Art grounds and/or buildings exteriors and interiors must acknowledge the Museum in any printed or audio-visual materials. The credit line should read: "Photographed at the San Antonio Museum of Art in San Antonio, Texas."