Guidelines

We're Here to Help

During your visit to the CMA, our staff is happy to answer your questions about the museum and the surrounding area. Ask at the visitor services desk for any assistance you may need.

Bag Lockers & Coat Check

Self-serve coat check and lockers are available near the CMA Shop. Note that umbrellas, backpacks, parcels, and large bags must be checked.

Strollers & Wheelchairs

Complimentary strollers and wheelchairs are available on a first-come, first-served basis. Please visit the visitor services desk to check-out a stroller or wheelchair. If you need assistance while using a wheelchair, please bring a caregiver to help you.

Artwork

Special care is taken at all times to preserve the artwork. 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 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 iPods at the visitor services desk to take advantage of our free multimedia tours for major exhibitions. If you have any questions about photography or these tours, ask at the visitor services 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. 

Professional and commercial photography/videography is allowed inside the CMA with a scheduled appointment and a possible fee. Portraiture, including bridal, engagement, baby announcement, graduation, and prom photos, is allowed inside the CMA with a scheduled appointment and a fee. Contact our special events team to inquire. Media photographers and videographers should contact our communications team.

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

Sketching in the Galleries

Sketching, in pencil only, is permitted in all the upstairs 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 visitor services 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.
  • Due to high volume of visitors, sketching is not permitted on Free Second Sundays and may be restricted during other periods of high attendance. Sketching is permitted only in locations that do not obstruct an entrance or exit, do not compromise the safety or security of the artwork and/or other CMA visitors, and do not obstruct the view of the artwork.

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 visitor services desk or call 803-799-2810.