|Photo Oliver Wainwright, The Guardian|
Such bans in special exhibitions have happened before at other museums. Several reasons are typically invoked: copyright restrictions, loan agreements, risk to the artwork, and traffic flow issues.
I don't know what museums can do about cellphone photography. That can get out of hand, with people backing up into artwork taking selfies and not even looking at the art.
|John Singer Sargent, Sketch after Rembrandt, 1871|
|Artists copying at the Louvre by Winslow Homer|
Let's remember that many art museums began as extensions of art academies. Too many art museums these days think of themselves as extensions of the gift shop.
In the 19th century, institutions such as the Belvedere Museum and the National Gallery commonly set aside special days and times specifically for artists to visit and draw, according to Carole Paul.
There's hope. Some museums have taken the enlightened stance of encouraging sketching in quieter exhibits. Such programs as the Met's "Drop-in Drawing" and "Saturday Sketching" or the Getty's "Family Drawing Hour" are a step in the right direction.
I'd love to hear of your experiences in the comments.
Five Tips for Sketching in Museums
Tips for sketching in museums from the U.K. blog Making a Mark
The First Modern Museums of Art: The Birth of an Institution in 18th- and Early- 19th-Century Europe by Carole Paul.
More at the Guardian (Thanks, Lucas)