Guide For Your Museum Visit

Welcome to MOPA

Thank you for visiting the Museum of Photographic Arts. To make the most of your visit, here are some tips and general information to ensure a positive experience.
We are a bilingual museum and you will find all our exhibition texts in English and Spanish.
  • Service Animals. Therapy and service animals are welcome inside the Museum.  Pets are not allowed.
  • Pencil and Sketchbook. You are welcome to sketch in the museum. We do ask that you use pencils rather than pens. Pencils and clipboards are available for loan for your convenience at the front desk.
  • Coat and Accessories Check: For your comfort, a Coat Check is available at the front desk to stow food, beverages, backpacks, oversized items, umbrellas and other objects not allowed in the galleries as space permits.  
  • The Whole Family. We want children to enjoy the galleries, and strollers are welcome throughout the museum. We invite them to talk, laugh and move around freely. However, running and other physical activity in which they can hurt themselves or damage the works of art are not permitted. Children must always be accompanied by an adult. 


  • Eat beforehand. We thank you for not eating and drinking in the museum and theater. Water bottles are allowed but must remain closed.
  • Feel Free to Sit. Please enjoy the seating placed throughout the galleries for your comfort and convenience.
  • To Touch or Not to Touch? It is tempting to touch a work of art. Though one touch may not seem like much, even the slightest contact can damage the surface of a photograph or ruin the glass. A good rule is to keep a two-foot safety zone between you and a work of art. This helps to avoid accidental touching or bumping. As it is the museum’s responsibility to ensure the works of art remain safe, we thank you for not touching on behalf of future generations of visitors. Please do not lean on or touch walls or cases, either to write on or for physical support. Feel free to sit on the benches or the floor as you look, talk, write or draw. Interactive opportunities are located throughout the galleries for visitors to touch and experience.  These interactive components are labeled for your convenience.
  • Photography in the galleries: Photography is allowed in most of our exhibitions only for personal, noncommercial use. It is NOT allowed in exhibitions with copyright restrictions that are clearly marked. Please be respectful of our lenders' wishes by not photographing exhibtions marked as no photography. Please do not use a flash since it damages the art in galleries where photography is allowed. We cannot allow the use of tripods in the galleries because it disrupts the experience for other visitors. For press or special photography project needs, please contact the Marketing Department at: 619.238.7559 or The museum reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to withhold and/or withdraw permission to photograph on its premises.
  • Share your experience. When posting a photo related to the museum, feel free to use the hashtag #MOPASD and tag @MOPASD on Twitter and Instagram.
  • Tours and Groups: If there is a tour or program in the galleries, feel free to enter the gallery.  Please respect the group and move around them.
  • Please Hold the Calls. To ensure a positive experience for everyone, please refrain from cell phone conversations while in the galleries. You are welcome to have phone conversations outside of our glass doors and please feel free to re-enter as many times as you want throughout the day using your admission sticker.
  • Talk About It. We encourage dialogue with your family and friends in the galleries.   However, please be courteous to others who may be quietly reflecting on an artwork.