March 2 2014
Picture: The Florentine
Good news - another gallery is giving up the fight to ban photography. From The Florentine:
Attempts to discreetly snap photos of Michelangelo’s David may no longer have to stay hidden. The Accademia Gallery is taking concrete steps toward relaxing its rules regarding photos inside the museum.
At the beginning of 2014, the Accademia conducted a two-week experiment, allowing visitors to use their cameras, smartphones and tablets as they pleased. Flash photography was still forbidden and visitors were reminded that their images were restricted to personal use.
Museum director Angelo Tartuferi explained, ‘Over the course of this experiment, we noticed many significant, positive consequences from this relaxation of the rules; museum visitors, tour guides, and, most importantly, our security staff took note of these as well.’
In the past, members of security staff have fought a losing battle trying to prevent visitors from taking pictures. There have even been public clashes between security officials and visitors who continue to photograph David after being instructed to stop.
According to the museum officials, the logic behind this initiative is that there is little harm in allowing tourists to take home a memento of their museum visit, or share artistic treasures with friends on social media. The pending change will still require visitors to be respectful and cautious in their approach to the artworks. Accademia officials have sent a letter to the Department of Cultural Heritage outlining the idea, but are currently awaiting approval.
Update - the Grumpy Art Historian doesn't like it.
Update II - Aaron Flack at Getty Iris says that 'Instagram is keeping art alive':
In fact, according to a recent Pew Institute survey, 81% of museums and galleries believe the internet and social media play a crucial role in supporting the arts. After decades of scaring potential supporters away (and missing out on the youngest generation completely) with endless snail mail and telephone marketing, smartphones and social media are providing museums like New York's Metropolitan Museum of Art and Los Angeles' Getty Museum — each of which boast millions of Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram followers — a second chance at community-building.