Events & Rentals Policies

The primary purpose of the Milwaukee Public Museum is to preserve and interpret our historical and scientific heritage through research, collection, education, and exhibition.

We welcome the opportunity to expand our educational mission by allowing photography/filming at the Museum. Please review the outlined policies to ensure that all participants have an enjoyable, safe visit.


All events shall harmonize with the character and mission of the Museum. Events may not create any hazard or impose undue hardship to the Museum and its collections, exhibits, facilities, staff, or visitors. Events must be in conformance with established Museum regulations and not interfere with Museum operations.

The use of camera extension devices (spotlights, tripods, monopods, selfie sticks, etc.) is not permitted.

The Museum reserves the right to deny photography/filming of any item(s) or exhibit(s) that may be harmed by such activity.

The Museum is a non-smoking center.

Exhibits on display are subject to change without notice.

Due to exhibit preservation issues, flamed candles, smoke machines, confetti, rose petals, glitter, and biological materials are prohibited in the Museum. Items which are brought to the Museum without authorization will not be allowed inside.


The Milwaukee Public Museum permits photography in most permanent exhibit galleries with flash and video for personal use with handheld equipment. The use of camera extension devices (spotlights, tripods, monopods, selfie sticks, etc.) is not permitted.

Guests looking to take photographs for private events (engagements, weddings, quinceañeras, family reunions, class projects, etc.) may do so with the purchase of Museum Pass admission without reservation if your group consists of less than 20 people. This photography may not impact the MPM experience for other guests and must cease if requested to do so by an MPM staffer.

Purchase of Museum Pass admission is not a photography contract and does not include an MPM staffer to assist with photography or blocking use of exhibits for other guests at any time.

All details for private event photography for groups larger than 20 people, or to reserve a particular exhibit gallery for private use of photography, must be coordinated by the Marketing department of MPM. Private event photography rates for groups larger consisting of 20+, or private use of exhibit galleries, start at $200/hr. Payment of photography fee must be arranged in advance with the Marketing department. To coordinate private use of exhibit space for personal photography use or photography for groups consisting of 20+ people, contact Kristine Thomsen.


All in-house details pertaining to commercial photography/filming must be coordinated by the Marketing department of MPM. To coordinate commercial photography or filming, contact Rebecca Ehlers.

Reservations for commercial photography/filming are required and 30-day advance notice is necessary. No date is considered confirmed until the Marketing department has received a signed contract and fee. If cancellation occurs less than 30 days prior to the event, no refund will be issued. Commercial photography rates start at $250/hr and commercial filming rates start at $325/hr. Payment of photography/filming fee must be arranged in advance.

Organizations must provide a certificate of liability insurance and sign a liability release form for organizations and a copy of a tax exempt certificate (if applicable). Private individuals must sign the liability release form for individuals.

Any and all reproduction of photography/filming taken on the premises of the Milwaukee Public Museum must bear acknowledgment to the "Milwaukee Public Museum." Any exceptions to this condition must be mutually agreed upon in writing.

To preserve specimens and exhibits, spotlights (if pre-approved) must remain off until required for actual photography/filming.

At least one Museum staff member will be present during the entire shoot.

Same day set-up and teardown of a shoot is required unless prior arrangements are made with the Marketing department at MPM. Lessee’s contractors must be made aware of such requirements by the lessee.

A three-foot passageway to all exits must be maintained. Photography/filming during operating hours cannot block public access to any exhibits and cords and other equipment must be monitored to ensure safety.

To guarantee fulfillment, the following special requests must be arranged 14 days in advance:

  • Equipment is to be unloaded in the garage (entrance on 7th Street)

  • Freight elevator is to be used to transport equipment

  • Plug-in and/or extensive equipment is to be used

  • The presence of more than one Museum staff member is requested

  • The photography/filming is to take place outside of regular Museum hours

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