Permission to Photograph, Copy or Sketch at the de Young or the Legion of Honor


  • Photography is allowed in the permanent galleries without flash, artificial light and hand-held only, during public hours. Objects that are on loan or in a special exhibition cannot be photographed. Loan items have a “T” or “L” before the accession number. 
  • The Marketing Department handles requests for commercial photography and filming. TV crews from regular stations or national outlets must be scheduled through the Media Relations Department and will be accompanied by a staff member. 
  • Photography of the exterior of the museums during public hours is allowed without flash, artificial light and hand-held only, including wedding portraits at the museums’ discretion; access to the museums should be not blocked. Wedding ceremonies in the Court of Honor can be arranged through our Facility Rentals Department. Wedding ceremonies outside the buildings must have a permit from the Recreation and Parks Department with approval of the Fine Arts Museums. 


  • Sketching for individuals with pencil on a small (9” x 12” or smaller) hand-held pad is allowed during public hours in the permanent collection. 
  • Permission needs to be obtained to sketch using easels and larger pads and/or for groups and is allowed on weekdays only, during public hours. 
  • Sketching in special exhibition galleries is by permission only, subject to lender and gallery restrictions. 
  • Groups must obtain permission in advance. Permission for sketching will only be granted for hand held 9” x 12” or smaller pads and pencil during weekdays which will be indicated on the gallery tour list. 
  • Individuals that are part of a group that has pre-approved and scheduled classes are required to pay admission or show their membership/pass if they come on a different day than when their class is scheduled. The museums are not obligated to furnish any materials or equipment (including chairs) for their use. 
  • Supplies and materials should not be left unattended at any time. In all instances the work area shall be left clean and all museum rules must be adhered to including the artist must maintain a minimum distance of 3 feet from any artwork, no touching of any artwork including pedestals and bases; do not block pathways and exits. 

Copy or Painting 

Permission to copy or to paint requires a permit. Advance permission is required and is allowed on weekdays and only for artwork owned by the museum. Requests for permission must state the media to be used. Details and restrictions are listed on the other side. 

Request Permission

  • Groups obtain permission by contacting:
    K-12 and adults Sheila Pressley (415) 750-7641
    College Cynthia Inaba (415) 750-3528
    Artist Demos Renee Baldocchi (415) 750-7634 
  • Individuals obtain permission by contacting: Christopher Lentz (415) 750-3633