Behind the Scenes at the DAM

Etiquette Tips for Passport to Paris & Other Special Exhibitions

Here at the Denver Art Museum we care about the visitor experience. We want everyone to enjoy their visit, relax, and maybe learn a little something. Whenever we have a special exhibition (such as Passport to Paris) there are usually special rules that come along with it. In order to get the most out of your visit and allow others to do the same, here are some guidelines for exhibition etiquette.

  1. No touching. Our fingers have oils (not to mention dirt) that can be damaging to artworks.
  2. No photography. While you may take non-flash photography of items in our collection in the permanent galleries, photography is not allowed in special exhibitions because we do not own the photographic rights to items on loan.
  3. No food or drink in the galleries. Beverages and food attract bugs. Bugs like not only food but also artworks. Bugs and art don’t mix. Same goes for gum. You can enjoy food and drink in our Duncan Pavilion, outside at café tables, or on the Sie Family terrace but not in the galleries.
  4. No backpacks in special exhibitions. Our special exhibitions often get very crowded and backpacks invite the possibility of hitting people behind you or even artworks.
  5. No mobile phone calls. Mobile phone use is allowed as long as you are not taking a photo or being disruptive to others. I think we can all agree that having a phone conversation in the middle of an art gallery is pretty disruptive to others so please take those important phone calls outside in the lobby.
  6. No sketching or taking notes with pens. Camping out and sketching in a crowded gallery can cause crowd flow problems and bottlenecks as well as block others from enjoying the art. If you need to take notes, please use a pencil and notepad no larger than 8.5” x 11.”

I realize there are a lot of no’s in the above guidelines but there are a lot of things we encourage you to do during your visit to the museum. Here are just a few:

  1. Test your drawing skills in the Drawing Studio. Explore your creativity in our hands-on studio space. Free with general admission.
  2. Enjoy coffee and snacks in the café located in the main lobby of Hamilton Building or sit down for a relaxing lunch in Palettes.
  3. Visit with your children and enjoy the Just for Fun Center and Kids Corner for costumed fun and artmaking projects.
  4. Take one of the free tours offered every day the museum is open.
  5. Join a Drop-In Drawing Session. Take inspiration from the galleries with the help of a DAM art instructor and tackle a new drawing topic every month. Bring your own supplies or use one of our communal sketch pads. Free with general admission. Meet in the Hamilton Building lobby at 1 pm on the second Tuesday of the month.

There is always something to do at the DAM so we invite to come down and enjoy. If you have any additional questions, please ask at one of our welcome centers.

Kay Dale is the associate director of the membership and guest services department at the Denver Art Museum. Kay has been at the DAM since 2010, and her favorite exhibition that has been on view here was Becoming Van Gogh.