Photography and Filming Policy

The primary purpose of the Milwaukee Public Museum is to preserve and interpret our historical and scientific heritage through research, collection, education, and exhibition.

We welcome the opportunity to expand our educational mission by allowing photography/filming at the Museum. Please review the outlined policies to ensure that all participants have an enjoyable, safe visit.

Photography and Filming Policies

All events shall harmonize with the character and mission of the Museum. Events may not create any hazard or impose undue hardship to the Museum and its collections, exhibits, facilities, staff or visitors. Events must be in conformance with established Museum regulations and not interfere with Museum operations.

Photography and video recording with small, non-intrusive hand-held devices are permitted in most permanent exhibit galleries for personal use only, unless otherwise noted. The use of tripods, monopods, selfie sticks, light kits, or anything deemed intrusive to MPM exhibits or guest experience in any way is not permitted. Photography is not permitted in special exhibitions.

The Museum reserves the right to deny photography/filming of any item(s) or exhibit(s) that may be harmed by such activity.

Organizations must provide a certificate of liability insurance and sign a liability release form for organizations and a copy of a tax exempt certificate (if applicable). Private individuals must sign the liability release form for individuals.

Any and all reproduction of photography/filming taken on the premises of the Milwaukee Public Museum must bear acknowledgment to the "Milwaukee Public Museum." Any exceptions to this condition must be mutually agreed upon in writing.

To preserve specimens and exhibits, spotlights (if pre-approved) must remain off until required for actual photography/filming.

The Museum is a non-smoking center.

Exhibits on display are subject to change without notice.

A three-foot passageway to all exits must be maintained. Photography/filming cannot block public access to any exhibits. Cords and other equipment must be monitored to insure the safety of our public.

Due to exhibit preservation issues flamed candles, smoke machines, confetti, rose petals, glitter, and biological materials are prohibited in the Museum. Items which are brought to the Museum without authorization will not be allowed inside.

Commercial Photography and Filming

All in-house details pertaining to commercial photography/filming must be coordinated by the Marketing Department of the Milwaukee Public Museum. To coordinate commercial photography or filming, contact Rebecca Ehlers.

Reservations for commercial photography/filming are required and 30-day advance notice is necessary. No date is considered confirmed until the Marketing Department has received a signed contract and fee. If cancellation occurs less than 30 days prior to the event, no refund will be issued. Commercial photography rates start at $250/hr and commercial filming rates start at $325/hr. Payment of photography/filming fee must be arranged in advance.

At least one Museum staff member will be present during the entire shoot.

Same day set-up and tear down of a shoot is required unless prior arrangements are made with the Marketing Department at the Milwaukee Public Museum. Lessee’s contractors must be made aware of such requirements by the lessee. 

For private event photography, please see our Events Policies.