Cincinnati Art Museum Guidelines for Filming and Photographing Works of Art
Filming, photography and videotaping the collection of the Cincinnati Art Museum as well as works of art borrowed from other collections require proper planning and oversight because of the risk of damage to these fragile objects. Light and heat generated by photo lights can irreversibly damage a work of art in a few seconds. The potential for damage by moving equipment, installing cables and the use of actors and extras is significant and must be given careful consideration by all parties involved with these activities. The Cincinnati Art Museum asks everyone who films or takes photographs in the galleries to consider the special nature of the Museum’s collections and make necessary alterations to their normal working methods, in order to assure the preservation of the works of art.
Light wavelengths below 400 nanometers (ultraviolet) and above 700 nanometers (infrared) are not within the visible spectrum and can damage or shorten the life of works of art. Therefore, they should be eliminated from light sources. When possible, filter or screen existing lights to eliminate ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) radiation. Alternatively, use photo lights that do not emit UV or IR radiation. Radiant heat from photo lamps can also damage works of art and can cause localized changes in relative humidity. Use heat absorbing filters and heat transmitting reflectors to reduce the heating effect of lights on objects. Relative humidity and temperature should remain constant during filming. The camera crew is responsible for making sure that their equipment conforms to these guidelines.
Please review the guidelines listed below, and complete the attached disclosure form prior to your scheduled appointment:
1. Wherever possible, use available light. When additional lighting is necessary to illuminate light-sensitive objects please limit this to the shortest possible time. Lights should be turned on only when actual filming and focusing is taking place; they should be turned off at all other times. Only indirect light bounced off a reflector is to be used on works of art. It is essential that absolutely no heating of any work occur. Do not exceed recommended light levels for light sensitive objects (see guidelines set by Committee for Light Sensitive Materials).
2. To prevent overheating of surfaces during shooting, the maximum period of illumination on any one object will not exceed more than 15 minutes at a time, with a 15-minute rest period between lightings. Total lighting on any object cannot exceed 150 foot-candles or 1,500 lux at its surface (this excludes light sensitive objects).
3. Screens must be used on tungsten, incandescent spot or flood lights to control heat and protect objects from flying glass as a result of exploding bulbs. UV filters must be used when possible.
4. Flash units must be at least 5 feet from the object being filmed/photographed, and from adjacent objects. Flash units must be filtered to absorb all radiation wavelengths shorter than 380 nanometers.
5. Light stands, tripods, cables and other equipment must be handled with great care around works of art. Stands that are positioned within a distance, where they could possibly fall onto any work of art, must be secured with sandbags or duct tape. All lights and equipment must maintain a 5-foot distance from all artwork.
6. The use of actors, models or extras during filming should be indicated in advance on the form provided below. A separate room away from the gallery will be reserved for their use. At no time, should make-up, hairspray, etc. be applied in the gallery.
7. The Museum will provide a qualified staff member to assist in the supervision of any incidental photography and filming of any temporary exhibition or permanent collection installation. Production work shall cease immediately in the event of unauthorized people touching or moving any work of art.
8. During filming CAM staff may also require the following:
a.Monitor temperature and relative humidity using a hygro-thermographic datalogger (provided by CAM). Relative humidity and temperature should remain constant with no more than 5% fluctuation.
b.Use of portable fans if necessary to maintain a constant temperature.
c.Light levels may be monitored with a light meter (provided by CAM).
d.Use of humidifiers to control relative humidity.
9. Under no circumstances will food or drink be permitted in the gallery during filming.
10. A work of art that is copyrighted may only be filmed in general installation shots, containing more than one work of art in each shot (unless permission from the copyright holder is granted for the specific project). Loans to the permanent collection each have their own specific loan agreement outlining the individual lender’s wishes regarding photography. These objects cannot be the focus of any photography or filming without confirming the lender’s permission in advance.
11. The Museum will not be responsible for any additional costs incurred by filming in the galleries. The use of security staff, the set up or removal of exhibition furniture, and the installation or removal of objects are examples of such expenses. Any additional costs will be identified in advance by CAM staff.
12. The Museum may exercise its right to editorial control over filming performed in the galleries. We may also limit usage of the final product (e.g. to duration of exhibition).