Museum-goers, be warned. If you try to take a photograph at the Magritte show at the Museum of Modern Art, or the Robert Indiana exhibit at the Whitney Museum, a uniformed guard will come rushing out and sternly instruct you: "No photographs!"
In general, museums don't allow people to take pictures at their special exhibitions. But that's a policy that WNYC's art critic Deborah Solomon would like to see changed. In a recent op-ed for the New York Times, she argued that museum bans on picture-taking are completely obsolete.
Solomon says traditionally there has been a fear of technology inside museums and some people think cameras corrupt our experience of art. But she believes camera actually enhances it. "When we look through a camera we frame space, and we look more deeply, and in that sense looking through a camera teaches us how to look without a camera, to paraphrase the photographer Dotothea Lange," she said.
And contrary to what many art lovers believe, Solomon argues photography doesn't take the "aura" away from paintings. "Photographs of art can contribute enormously to visual literacy in this country, and I look forward to a day when every high school student knows the difference between a Pollock and a de Kooning and a Rembrandt," she said.
What do you think? Do you like taking pictures at museums? Why or why not? Leave a comment below.
And to listen to the whole interview with Solomon, click on the audio link above.