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 and at the Museum to keep visitors and staff safe and help protect and preserve the art on view in the Museum.

Information and Policies

Masks are not required but are recommended indoors.

Shirt and footwear are required for entry. To ensure a safe and comfortable experience for all, please note that revealing clothing is not permitted for visitors.

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

Complimentary coat check is available at the Huntington Avenue Entrance. 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 arrival. All bags are subject to inspection by Museum staff.

Please see Dining for more information about the Museum's dining venues.

Personal Photography

The Museum encourages non-flash photography and video of artworks in the permanent collection for personal use and enjoyment when taken with a small handheld camera, tablet, or cell phone. Any distribution of personal photography for commercial use or publication is prohibited. Flashes, tripods, monopods, and selfie sticks are not allowed in the Museum. The Museum is unable to accommodate engagement, wedding, or formal portrait photography requests. For high-resolution digital files and reproduction requests, please see MFA Images.

The Lost and Found is located in the Sharf Visitor Center. You may also contact Lost and Found at

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 the main Huntington Avenue Entrance and the Linde Family Wing Entrance, which is reserved for visitors who require a level entrance. Please return all wheelchairs and walkers after your visit. If you have any questions regarding Museum accessibility, please visit Accessibility, e-mail, 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.

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.

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 or violates Museum policy 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.

All bags are subject to inspection by Museum staff. Backpacks, large bags, all liquids including hand sanitizer and sunscreen, and outside food or drink are not permitted. Exceptions are made for medical or religious needs. All bags are strongly discouraged, and any bags larger than 11” x 15” must be checked in the Coat Room upon entry. During bag inspections, all prohibited items found such as weapons, harsh chemicals, solvents, and aerosols will be confiscated or discarded upon entry.

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
  • 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 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