Visitor Guidelines

Bag Lockers & Coat Check

Self-serve coat check and lockers are available. Note that backpacks, parcels, and bags larger than 14.5” x 17” x 8” must be checked.

Smaller bags, including backpacks, are permitted in the galleries. To avoid accidentally bumping into art, backpacks may not be worn on your back; they must be carried by hand (below the waist) or worn on the front of your body. Umbrellas are not permitted in the galleries, but umbrella stands sit outside the gallery doors should you have one with you.

Baby Carriers, Strollers & Wheelchairs

Strollers and soft-sided carriers worn on the front are permitted in the galleries. Soft-sided carriers worn on the back or metal-framed baby carriers are not permitted. 

We recommend that you bring your own stroller, walker, or wheelchair if needed, but complimentary strollers, walkers, and wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis. They are cleaned after each use. Please visit the Welcome Desk to check out a stroller, walker, or wheelchair. If you need assistance while using a wheelchair, please bring a caregiver to help you.


Special care is taken at all times to preserve the art on view. For this reason we ask that you refrain from touching or getting too close to the artwork, display cases, and platforms.

Photography and Mobile Devices

We encourage you to take photos and share your CMA experience with friends! Photography for personal use is allowed in all public spaces, and in the galleries except where otherwise noted. Flashes, tripods, monopods, video cameras, and selfie sticks are not permitted throughout the museum. 

We ask that you refrain from talking on the phone while in the galleries and place your phone on silent. 

We also encourage you to use either your own mobile device or one of the available iPads at the visitor services desk to take advantage of our free multimedia TAP tours and online brochures. If you have any questions about photography or these tours, ask at the Welcome Desk.

Professional and Commercial Photography

The CMA is a public organization focused on serving our visitors. While we are happy to be the backdrop for life’s celebrations, we need to be sure that photography does not interfere with the visitor’s art experience. To that end, professional and commercial photography (ie photo shoots) are not permitted in the CMA.

Media photographers and videographers should contact our communications team.

Photography on Boyd Plaza is always free and open to all.

Restroom Policy

Multi-stall restrooms are located on each floor. Single-stall restrooms, including a family restroom, are located off of the Main Street Lobby.

The CMA welcomes gender diversity. All visitors are welcome to use the restroom that best fits their identity. We ask that no one be stared at, questioned, or asked to leave. Thank you for making the museum safe, inclusive, and accessible for everyone.

Sketching in the Galleries

Sketching, in pencil only, is permitted in all the second floor collection galleries of the Columbia Museum of Art for non-commercial purposes, provided that the following rules are followed. Sketching is also permitted in most special exhibitions; please inquire at the Welcome Desk about current exhibitions and guidelines.

  • Paper or sketchbooks should not exceed 14 x 17 inches. Easels are not permitted.
  • Never point at a work using your pencil or any other object. Please do not touch the works for any reason.
  • A reasonable distance must be maintained from the work to allow a clear view for others who may wish to observe the work.
  • During times of high volume visitation, sketching may be restricted. Sketching is permitted only in locations that do not obstruct an entrance or exit, do not compromise the safety or security of the art on view and/or other CMA visitors, and do not obstruct the view of the art.
Food and Drink

Food, drink, and chewing gum are allowed in the museum's public areas, but are not permitted in any enclosed galleries.

Lost and Found

For lost items, stop by the Welcome Desk or call 803-799-2810.

Code of Conduct

The Columbia Museum of Art is dedicated to providing a safe, inclusive, and welcoming visitor experience for everyone. 

See the full code of conduct here.

CMA Photography

Photography and videography may be taken and used for CMA promotional purposes. By visiting the CMA and its events, all persons have consented, released the CMA of liability, and waived all rights to royalties.


Policy on Service and Emotional Support Animals

Service Animals
The CMA complies with all ADA requirements and accepts service animals in the museum as defined by the ADA in 2010.

Types of Service Dogs may include, but are not limited to:

  • Guide Dog
  • Mobility Aid Dog
  • Seizure Alert Dog
  • PTSD Dog
  • Hearing Alert Dog
  • Diabetes Alert Dog
  • Migraine Alert Dog
  • Narcolepsy Alert Dog
  • Seizure Response Dog
  • Psychiatric Service Dog

Emotional Support Animals
The CMA does not allow Emotional Support Animals (ESA) on site. Emotional Support Animals or Comfort Animals are often used as part of a medical treatment plan or as therapy animals, but are not considered service animals under the ADA.

Types of Emotional Support Animals may include, but are not limited to:

  • Companionship animals
  • Animals to relieve loneliness
  • Animals to help with depression
  • Animals to help with anxiety
  • Animals to help with certain phobias 

Frequently Asked Questions about Service Animals and the ADA


Privacy Policy and Legal Notices

Privacy Policy

Your Privacy

We are committed to the protection of your privacy on this website. This site does not collect personal information such as names and email addresses unless individuals knowingly provide that information.

Policy on Information Collection

The website collects personal information for membership purchases and renewals, program registrations, electronic newsletters and mailings, and general inquiries. For some of these services, the site may request information about background, occupation, demographics, and interests.

The website automatically collects information about computer hardware and software. This can include IP addresses, browser types, domain names, access times, and the referring websites that visitors use to access this website. The site uses this information to maintain the quality of the service while you are on the website, as well as to collect general statistics about the site.

It is necessary for the Columbia Museum of Art to collect your personal information to make donations, purchase memberships, RSVP for an event, purchase a ticket, or enter a contest/sweepstakes. Information collected is secured in the museum’s database system, Altru by Blackbaud. The museum does not share emails, phone numbers or personal information with anyone outside the organization. From time to time, the museum may share its mailing list in a secure way with other non-profit organizations. 

If you have questions about our privacy policy or your information, please contact the museum at 803-343-2198.

Policy on Information Disclosure

This site collects personal information to operate the site and to deliver the services you request. This information helps us understand our audience, and that allows us to better meet the needs of website users. We will not sell, trade, or rent personal information. We may compile aggregate statistics and provide them to third parties, but these statistics will not include information that identifies individual website users.

We may save personal information to comply with federal and state policies, but we will not disclose this information to third parties or government agencies unless we are required to do so by state or federal law or we must act under exigent circumstances to protect the safety of our users or the public.

Revisions to the Privacy Policy

The privacy policy may be revised at any time. We may revise the policy in response to changes in the law or other factors. We encourage website users to periodically visit this page to review the most current policy.

Legal Notice: S.C. Abandoned Cultural Property Act

In accordance with the S.C. Abandoned Cultural Property Act & unable to contact the original lenders, the Columbia Museum of Art herewith claims title to the following objects: 

Architectural model of façade (H9.25”xW38”); Sculpture, man w/ palm leaf (H13”xW5”); Stone fragment (L8.5” x W2”); wooden Temple Ramma (H10.75”xW43.25”); Clay pot w/ chipped rim; Blue Russell Wright dinner plate; Ambrotype of girl w/flower crown; Bronze coin (D1.25”); Bronze coin (D1 13/16”); Black and gold coffee pot w/Asian figures (H7” x W5”); Oval straw basket w/lid (10.5” x 8.5”); Carved wood fragment w/ geometric pattern  (8 “x 4 “); plate, Oriental figures in a landscape; Stone tablet w/ incised Oriental lettering (18.5” x 12” x 2”); necklace w/ stone beads; Medallion w/ man's profile, signed Darca 1878 (D6.75”); Sculpture of James F. Byrnes (H14.25” xW 9.5”); Black scarf or boa w/silver buckles(L108”); Coral Russel Wright pitcher (H10.74”); Candleholders of classical female figures(H 14 7/16”); canvas print, Llama Temple, City of Peking (H15.75”xW 11.5”); Pastel & marker painting w/ stick-on letters; Clear glass lamp chimney (H21” x W8.5”); 4 green Dallas Ware custard cups (H2.25” x D4”); 4 green Dallas Ware bowls (1.5” x 5 13/16”); Eugene Higgins, Pioneers Resting, 1938, etching (H14”xW18” mat); Otto Kuhler, Hiawatha at Night, 1935, etching (H14”xW15” mat); unknown artist, Westminster Abbey, lithograph (H13.5”xW10.5” mat); Red & white framed handkerchief of portraits; Joseph and Albert Savory  c.1840 silver coffeepot, teapot, cream pitcher and sugar bowl; Silver ladle w/case w/ initials "MNN” (2 x 8.5 x 2.75 ladle); Westclox pocket watch; Set of 4 1936 Half Dollars in Cases; Brown display cloth; Green display cloth; Red velvet sofa w/ wrap arms & craved wooded floral wreaths (H36”x W66”x D25.5”); Augusto Rivalta, Ivan Mazeppa, c.1909, bronze; J. M. Stevens, Sebastian (H34” x W26” mat); Periodical, "Tres Parisien," Numero 6, 1926, 6e Anneé; Unknown artist, oil on canvas, large blue painting w/white border; Blondelle Malone, Trees, oil on canvas; M. DeForest Bolmer, Mist Lifting Over the Lochs of Scotland, oil on canvas; Blondelle Malone, Memorial Garden, oil on canvas; M. Hudson, abstract metal sculpture (H55”); Wooden chest w/four drawers (H33”xW46”); Unknown artist, Untilted oil on canvas (H46.25” x W53.5”)

All of the items listed herein were deposited by unknown donors over ten years ago. If proof of claim is not presented in writing by the lender, their heirs, or assignees to the Columbia Museum of Art, & if the owner’s right to receive the property is not established to the Columbia Museum of Art’s satisfaction within 120 days from the date of this notice, the property is considered abandoned & becomes the property the Columbia Museum of Art. Contact STeven Kramer, Columbia Museum of Art, P.O. Box 2068, Columbia, SC 29202, 803-343-2154.