Tips for Visitors

The MFA strives to maintain a safe, comfortable, and respectful environment for all visitors. We also take our role as guardians of the objects in our collection very seriously. Please enjoy all that the Museum has to offer and observe the policies listed here to help protect and preserve the art on view in the Museum.

Information and Policies

Shirt and footwear are required for entry.

To ensure a safe and comfortable experience for all, please note that revealing clothing, face masks, and full-face makeup are not permitted for visitors. Exceptions may be made for health concerns and religious attire at the discretion of MFA staff.

Please do not use your mobile phone for conversations in the galleries.

The MFA offers two free coat check rooms located at the Huntington and State Street Corporation Fenway entrances. All bags, packages, and umbrellas larger than 11 x 15 inches must be checked, including backpack-style child carriers. Backpacks smaller than 11 x 15 inches may be carried as a handbag or worn on the front side of the body. Bags in excess of 11 x 15 inches containing needed medical equipment, studio art class supplies, or for use in nursing or baby care are allowed in the Museum if tagged at coat check. The following items cannot be checked: laptop computers, cameras, and other valuables. All bags are subject to inspection by Museum staff. No tips please.

Nestled among the grand masters of art and design in the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, a variety of dining venues from Restaurant Associates stir the senses with seasonal menus and locally grown ingredients.

Personal photography

Still photography and video taken from a handheld device of objects in the permanent collection are permitted for personal, nondistributional, noncommercial use. Please refrain from photography of loans and temporary exhibitions. Flashes, tripods, monopods, selfie-sticks, or video cameras in the galleries are prohibited. No photographs or videotapes may be reproduced, published, distributed, sold, transferred, or otherwise commercially exploited without written permission from the MFA. Formal portraits, event photography, and any other commissioned photography require prior written permission from the MFA. Permission requests may be sent to mfaimages@mfa.org. Please allow 3 weeks for the review and consideration of all permission requests. Same day requests will not be considered or approved.

Reproduction photography

Photographic and digital images of MFA objects are available through Digital Image Resources. Low-resolution digital images may be purchased for educational use, but may not be reproduced. Other photography (black-and-white photographs, color transparencies, and high-resolution digital files) may be rented or purchased for reproduction purposes. If photography is not available of a particular MFA object, new photography may be created by the MFA's photo studio.

Please submit all inquiries and requests regarding images for personal and study purposes, one-time reproductions (including books and other printed publications), location filming, and merchandise licensing to:

MFA Images—Digital Image Resources
Museum of Fine Arts, Boston
465 Huntington Avenue
Boston, MA 02115
Phone: 617-369-4338
Fax: 617-437-7471
E-mail: mfaimages@mfa.org

Take a self-guided tour and explore with an MFA Guide touch screen player. Get insights from curators, conservators, artists and others on exhibitions and artwork through images, audio, and video. Available in German, Italian, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, and Japanese.

MFA Guide

Maps and Visitor Guides

Maps are available in German, Italian, French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese, and Japanese.

The Lost and Found is located in the Sharf Visitor Center. You may also contact Lost and Found by phone at 617-369-4296.

Mobility Devices

Manual wheelchairs, Rollators (walkers with wheels, padded seats, and backs), are available free of charge on a first-come, first-served basis at all entrances. Please return all wheelchairs and walkers after your visit. If you have any questions regarding Museum accessibility, please visit Accessibility, e-mail access@mfa.org, or call 617-267-9300.

Gallery Seating

Free gallery stools are provided on a first-come, first-served basis. These lightweight folding seats are available at the Sharf Visitor Center. Please return them at the end of your visit. Gallery stools are not usually allowed in the Gund Gallery or other special exhibitions, but if you need to use one during your visit, please inform the protective services staff before entering the gallery.

For parking information and rates, visit Parking.

We are working toward restroom accessibility for people of all genders and abilities. In Spring 2019, we made new signs for all traditionally gendered restrooms, reflecting the MFA’s longstanding policy: visitors are welcome to use restrooms that reflect their current gender identity and/or presentation.

All restrooms have wheelchair-accessible stalls with the exception of those in the Level 2 Rotunda.

You can also find two Everyone, or single-occupancy, restrooms, on Level G below Sharf Visitor Center. The spaces are equipped with changing tables and are fully accessible for people who use wheelchairs, require assistance, or privacy.

The restrooms on Level 2 of the Linde Family Wing, near the restaurant and elevator, are all-gender restrooms; their signs indicate the facilities/fixtures within (urinal and toilet stalls and toilet stalls only).

Help Us Protect and Preserve the MFA

We want our visitors to have the richest possible experience while visiting the MFA. The Museum is entrusted with the care of its collections for future generations and must be vigilant to protect these works of art. To preserve the artwork in our care and because we value each visitor's experience here, we have created the following guidelines.

Considerate behavior is expected of all visitors; any individual or group whose behavior is disruptive may be asked to leave.

Only materials produced by the MFA or its programmatic partners are permitted for distribution on Museum property. Demonstrating and solicitation are not permitted on Museum property.

For the protection of the objects and the comfort and safety of all visitors, please refrain from the following in the Museum galleries.

  • Carrying backpacks, large bags, or portfolios. Backpacks smaller than 11 x 15 inches may be carried as a handbag or worn on the front side of the body.
  • Carrying children in backpack carriers, on shoulders, or on back
  • Eating or drinking (Closed water bottles may be carried.)
  • Carrying umbrellas
  • Smoking, including electronic cigarettes and vaping devices
  • Running, yelling, or disruptive behavior
  • Playing music or recordings out loud on hand-held devices
  • Cell-phone conversations
  • Demonstrating or solicitation
  • Videotaping
  • Flash photography
  • Using selfie sticks, tripods, monopods, and photography lighting equipment
  • Using flashlights or laser pointers
  • Using pens, markers, charcoals and pastels, or solvents
  • 3D scanning

The MFA welcomes children and families and provides educational opportunities and programming just for kids. See Visiting with Kids and Family for tips and information.

Please take a moment before you visit the MFA to discuss proper museum behavior with your children and remember that an adult must supervise any child under the age of 12.

Strollers are allowed in all galleries; however, there may be restrictions when special exhibition galleries are crowded.

Artists in the Galleries

Many forms of art making are allowed. Harsh chemicals, solvents, and spray paint are never allowed inside the Museum, but these materials are welcome:

  • Pencils and erasers
  • Model magic clay
  • Watercolor paints (Shapiro Family Courtyard only)
  • Drawing boards up to 18 x 24 inches
  • Sketch pads up to 18 x 24 inches
  • Paints and easels are permitted with prior permission only. Contact the Museum at info@mfa.org.