HORRIBLE MUSEUM EXPERIENCE!

Discussion in 'Photographic Discussions' started by AverageJoe, Feb 7, 2010.

  1. AverageJoe

    AverageJoe TPF Noob!

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    I recently visited the Taft Museum in Cincinnati, if you ever consider going there, think again, but if you are compelled to visit, do not bring your camera you might not leave alive.

    Here is my complaint email:

    Today, Sunday February 7th, my girlfriend and I decided to visit the Taft Museum in downtown Cincinnati. I searched the museum's website for information on photography within the museum and could not find any. I called to find out what policy was in place, the woman who answered my call indicated photography was allowed but not within the non-permanent exhibits. We arrived at the museum, paid our admission and started to head up into the museum. A very large security guard with a small tie stopped me and said I would have to leave my camera and bag somewhere. I believe his concern was I would hit something with it and damage artwork/property. We discussed briefly and it was very unclear what his issue was but we agreed I would be carful about moving around in the museum, did he think I was a 5 year old child that would run around the museum playing tag? Or perhaps since he himself was such a large individual he has trouble walking down normal sized hallways?

    We proceeded upstairs into the, while examining some of the exhibits a guard shadowed us at almost every room, making the entire situation uncomfortable. I have been to MANY museums both in the United States and Europe and none of them had security guards hovering like the taft. I had maybe taken 3-4 photos and took one in a room when a guard approached me indicating photography wasn't allowed in this room and pointed to a TINY sign in the corner of the room that said (in 8pt font) Photography is now allowed. At this point I was really getting frustrated, I had been told photography was allowed in the area but wasn't told SOME of the artwork was not to be photographed.

    We continued through the museum and was approached by ANOTHER security guard, he said he wasn't sure my camera was allowed in the museum and said most people only have small point and shoot cameras and tripods weren't allowed. I told him I don't have a tripod and wasn't told there were any stipulations on WHICH cameras were allowed, I also WAS NOT shooting with a flash. He asked me to wait while he confirmed what was available. He came back and told me it was okay.

    I was fed up, we left the museum. I felt like I was a criminal. I completely respect a museum's right to not allow photography, but I had made every effort to adhere to the museum's policies, I spoke with the people at the front desk, they say my camera slung around my neck I wasn't trying to hide anything. Further more, there was NO ONE in the museum except for security guards walking around harassing me, perhaps the other visitors had all been asked to leave? Were they not wearing the correct color shoes?

    Needless to say, I will never set foot in that prison you call a museum. I also noticed the taft is funding by the fine arts fund, a fund that the organization I work for supports. The various positions and facilities I serve within my organization allows me to provide input with respect to the fine arts fund, and it should be no surprise to you that if I have any say in the matter the taft museum will be low on my list of organizations to support.

    Thanks for ruining the afternoon.


    To give you an idea of what I brought: Canon 40D with a 24-70mm 2.8 lens with hood, I didn't bring a flash and didn't use my in camera flash. I also had a Crumpler 7 Million dollar bag with me slug around my back.

    Like my email said, I completely understand a museum not wanting cameras in them, and I had no intention of doing anything outside of the rules, but I just could not win with these people or their rules.
     
  2. erichards

    erichards TPF Noob!

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    Excellent first draft, however some pointers. To be more effective stick to the facts. You had said camera looked everywhere to ensure it was okay to bring it. Bullying security guards etc... Leave out non-factual information such as: the security guard was fat, weather or not the guard thought you were 5, other visitors possibly being chased out due to wrong shoe color. These points do not help your cause. Pointing out that you help to determine where funding goes via the fine arts fund good point. If you had names of the security guards and the time/day you visited that may also help remedy the situation. Also, I have spelling errors but so do you. (is it supposed to be say or saw in the second to last paragraph??) Have someone with a critical eye to grammar and spelling check it before you send it, and you should also probably use capital letters for the name of the museum as it is a proper noun.
     
  3. AverageJoe

    AverageJoe TPF Noob!

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    All very good points, when I was caught up in the emotion of writing it I failed to take a closer look at it. I did try to keep the museum name in lowercase to emphasize my point that it isn't deserving of the title. I thought about reading through it again but said to hell with it I don't want to read it again/re-live it again and just click send.
     
  4. mrpink

    mrpink No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    As soon as I saw the thread title, I said to myself- must be the Taft. Your experience is similar to those I have heard throughout my years living here in Cincinnati. Some much worse. Hope you get some resolution, but I would not be holding my breath.:confused:

    p!nK
     
  5. dhilberg

    dhilberg TPF Noob!

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    A few years ago I went to the Portland Art Museum with an art class I was taking. There were no cameras allowed at all, period. I couldn't take my backpack in either, but they did let me take in a binder. If you wanted to "photograph" something, you could take out a piece of paper and pencil and make a sketch. There were security guards everywhere, and they pretty much followed our group around. Your situation doesn't sound all that unusual, although they do sound unorganized.
     
  6. molested_cow

    molested_cow No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Wait, so what did you lose? I mean, you sound really frustrated, but it's not like you got your photos deleted, confiscated or detained/arrested. You were just being "reminded".

    So exactly what wrong did any of the guards do to you? They followed you around. They were doing their job. One of them reminded you not to take photo and point you to the sign. He was doing his job with reference. The other wasn't sure, so he took the effort to make sure and promptly allowed you to take photos when he's being adviced. He did what a lot of other nasty guards didn't, which is being fair to you!

    May be you feel like you need to be treated like a king when you have paid for your tickets. Well, those guards aren't your servants.
     
  7. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    How about his ability to simply enjoy observing the museum in peace?
     
  8. Plato

    Plato TPF Noob!

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    I must have missed something. Were the guards shouting?
     
  9. AverageJoe

    AverageJoe TPF Noob!

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    It was like trying to drive one mile and getting pulled over three times by three different cops.
     
  10. epp_b

    epp_b No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I think carrying this sub-discussion further will be like arguing with a chair, so I won't bother.
     
  11. kundalini

    kundalini Been spending a lot of time on here!

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    Don't assume what peoples' thoughts are. A man doing his job, is just that. I have found that humor and empathy will go a long way towards my end. As an example, the large security guard. Have a friendly dig at his size compared to yours..... or better yet, have some humble comment of your size to his. Meaning that you could have said something to the affect that you don't wish to have him to get upset at you because he could squash you like a bug...... by the way, are there any bugs in this place? Instead of getting annoyed because your rights might have been infringed upon, put yourself in their shoes. Chances are that he's just a bloke that likes a laugh as much as you. Figure out what that commonality is and chances are that he won't be radioĆ­ng the next partner elsewhere in the museum to warn, but to tell him to not to worry about you. Just a thought.
     
  12. AverageJoe

    AverageJoe TPF Noob!

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    I like your style. :thumbup:
     

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