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​​Frequently Asked Questions

We’re here to help. The sections below offer answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about SAM. If you don’t see what you’re looking for, contact our customer service center.

PLAN YOUR VISIT

What does "suggested admission" mean?
The cost of admission to SAM’s Collections and Installations is suggested. Visitors may choose to pay anything from a penny to $29.99 to view SAM's collections when they purchase tickets onsite. Suggested admission tickets do not include entry to Flesh and Blood which has fixed pricing.

Are there any discounts for admission?
Yes! Below are discounts that are always available as well as discounts available for visiting Flesh and Blood.

Visiting SAM

  • SAM offers suggested admission pricing for visiting the SAM Collections & Installations (special exhibitions excluded).

  • SAM provides discounted rates for students, teens, seniors, and military with ID.

  • SAM members and children (14 & under) are free.

  • The First Thursday of every month admission to SAM Collections and Installations is free.

  • The First Friday of every month admission SAM Collections and Installations is free for seniors.

  • Admission to the Olympic Sculpture Park is always free!

Visiting Flesh and Blood

  • Free and discounted passes can be requested by any individual, family, or group as passes especially those for whom the cost of a ticket is prohibitive, and groups who have been historically excluded from the museum space due to systematic oppression.

  • Community Opening Celebrations are free and include entry to special exhibitions.

  • Many of our programs include free admission to our special exhibitions on the day of the event. Keep an eye on exhibition related events.

  • First Thursdays special exhibition discounts

    Adult: $9.99

    Seniors 65+, Military (w/ID): $7.99

    Students (w/ID): $4.99

    Ages 19 & younger: Free

  • First Friday: Admission to the special exhibition is $7.99 for anyone 65 years and older.

  • As a part of Museums for All, SAM offers free admission to low income families and individuals receiving SNAP benefits when you show your EBT card.

  • King County and Seattle Public Libraries offer free passes to special exhibitions.

  • City of Seattle’s Gold and FLASH card program. If you have a Gold or FLASH card, your caretaker gets free admission.

  • Teen Tix

  • Bank of America's Museums on Us

  • Blue Star Museums (special exhibition surcharge may apply)

  • UW Art Students get free admission with sticker on their student ID

What do you offer for groups of 10 or more?
Purchase 10 or more tickets in advance to guarantee admission on days that may sell out and to receive a free copy of Bridging Cultures, a guide to the permanent collections at SAM. Please call 206.654.3112 or email us.

What is First Thursday?
On the first Thursday of each month, SAM offers half-price admission to the special exhibition and free admission to the SAM Collections and Installations. 

How do I access my account?
If you have ever purchased or reserved tickets on SAM’s website or been a SAM member, you have an account in our system with assigned login information.

Recover your password.

If you have never used the site to purchase or reserve tickets, please set up your account.

What do I do if I lost my print-at-home tickets?
If you have lost your print-at-home tickets, you can reprint your tickets by logging-in to your online account and clicking “Purchase History” in “My Account Info” You can also visit the Will Call line at the Admissions Desk in the museum and have your tickets reprinted by an Admission Representative.

What do I do if I didn’t receive a confirmation email?
Please start by checking your email account’s Junk Mail folder. Be sure to have your email account set-up to receive emails sent from boxoffice@seattleartmuseum.org before you purchase additional tickets. You can also log in to to your SAM account and confirm your purchase under Purchase History.

Tours

Tour times and topics vary throughout the year. Tours are free with museum admission. See upcoming tours on our calendar

Art Beyond Sight
Monthly tours of the museum’s collection to visitors with low or no vision are available. Visit our Accessibility page for more details and tour dates.

A Closer Look: Highlights from SAM's Collection
View creatively installed galleries and discuss outstanding artwork from SAM’s collections.

My Favorite Things
Seattle’s highly opinionated visual artists, dancers, curators, critics, and more are invited to select their favorite works of art in SAM’s galleries to discuss during these 30-minute tours.

Where can I find information on school tours?
Visit our Schools and Educator page for everything you need to know about K–12 school tours.

Do you offer private tours?
Yes! Our experienced guides can customize your experience of the museum. Groups pay a flat-rate fee in addition to discounted admission. Find out more.

Gallery Policies

Can I take photos?
Non-flash photography is permitted in most areas of the museum for personal, noncommercial use, with the following restrictions

  • No tripods or selfie sticks

  • No flash photography

  • No movie or video cameras or recordings

For press and other special photography, including filming and video projects, please contact SAM Public Relations. For images of artworks owned by SAM, please see Image Rights.

SAM reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to withhold or withdraw permission to photograph on its premises or to reproduce images of objects in its collection.

Photography is prohibited of artwork with this symbol:

no photography image

Does SAM have a coat check?
Seattle Art Museum and Asian Art Museum both provide complimentary coat check services. Please be prepared to check the following items prior to entering the museum galleries

  • Bags or other items larger than 11 x 15 in size

  • Backpacks or other items worn on the back of any size

  • Shopping bags

  • Food and drink of any kind (including water and baby bottles)

  • Briefcases

  • Umbrellas of any size

  • Wet items including wet coats

The Seattle Art Museum also has items available for loan from Coat Check. Visitors are welcome to borrow a wheelchair, stroller, baby front-carrier, and seeing aids from Coat Check when they provide a picture ID. All items borrowed from Coat Check are available on a first-come-first-served basis and Coat Check does not accept reservations. SAM also provides plastic bags for your valuables upon request.

Please note: In the unlikely event your items are lost, damaged, misplaced, or stolen, the Seattle Art Museum cannot be held responsible.

Are strollers permitted in the galleries?
Yes. Single occupant strollers are permitted in the galleries. Multiple occupant strollers may be checked in Coat Check before accessing the galleries. The Seattle Art Museum provides a limited number of single occupant strollers and baby front-carriers available for loan on a first-come-first-served basis when visitors provide a picture ID.

Visit our Families page for more information about our kid-friendly spaces and family programs.

The Seattle Art Museum reserves the right to prohibit strollers in the galleries on high-volume days when galleries approach or reach capacity.

Can I sketch in the galleries?
Sketching with pencil and charcoal is permitted in all galleries of the museum devoted to SAM’s collection. The use of ink, fountain pens, or watercolors is prohibited.

Is there seating in the galleries?
Benches and other seating are provided on each floor of the museum for your comfort.

What accommodations does SAM offer to make the museum accessible to all?
SAM strives to be accessible for all visitors and provides a variety of support services to assist with your visit. More information can be found on our Accessibility page.
Service animals are the only animals welcome in the museum.

Do you accommodate other languages on your tours?
American Sign Language is available for all public tours upon request with two weeks notice. Please email us, call 206.654.3137 (TTY), or 206.654.3123 (voice) for more information. Printed copies of the current audio tour may be available at the Ticketing Desk.
All printed materials are only available in English at this time.

What do I do if I lost something at the museum?
Report your lost article and we will let you know if it turns up.Removed "pastel" from sketching

membership

General Information

I’m a SAM member, do I need a ticket to come to SAM? How do I get one?

There are two ways to get your free member tickets.

  • Online: Print your tickets at home, show your tickets on your phone, or pick up your tickets at Will Call before entering the galleries. Activate your online membership account using your membership ID number (found on your card) and your zip code. If you need assistance, contact membership@seattleartmuseum.org or 206.654.3210.

  • On site: SAM has first-come, first-served tickets available on site. Members can bypass the general admission line and present an active membership card along with photo ID at the Membership Services Desk. You may also purchase tickets for your guests at this time.

As a reminder, membership benefits are non-transferable.

Are there special viewing opportunities for members?
Yes! We provide SAM members with special opportunities to enjoy the museum. SAM members and their guests have exclusive access to our exhibitions during Member Previews and special Member Monday Nights. Guests of members will be asked to pay regular admission price for the exhibition.

How do I log in to my account?
If you have ever purchased or reserved tickets on SAM’s website, you have an account in our system with assigned login information. Recover your user ID and/or password. If you have never used the site to purchase or reserve tickets, even if you are a member, you will need to set up your account with your Member ID number. Set up your account.

Accounts are set up with only one user ID and password per membership (e.g. a family of four with a Family membership has only one user ID and password for their account). If another person under your membership has set up an account, you will need their login information to access your membership account online. If you would like to create a second login to access your joint membership account please contact our Customer Service Center at 206.654.3210.

Can I give my card to someone else to use?
Your membership card and benefits are nontransferable. They are valid only for the person(s) named on the membership account.

How do I use my member guest passes?
Guest pass privileges depend on your membership level.

  • Individual/Dual/Family members receive two, one time use (purple/pink) discount passes per year with their membership materials. These can only be used onsite to receive $5 off tickets or free permanent collection tickets for their guests.

  • Senior/Dual Senior/Student members do not receive any discount/guest passes with their membership.

  • Premier/Contributors Circle members can reserve two free member tickets and two free guest tickets at one time online/on site/over the phone (the members must accompany their two free guests). In addition, Premier level and higher members receive blue, one time use guest passes (# of passes varies depending on level) every year that are good for free admission to the collection galleries or special exhibitions when a surcharge does not apply.

  • All guest passes can only be redeemed onsite and must be filled out by the member/guest.

  • General level discounted passes must have the member present in order to be redeemed; Premier/CC/Corp guest passes do not need to have a member present.

I’m a reciprocal museum member. Do I get free admission?
The Seattle Art Museum participates in two reciprocity programs. Tickets for reciprocal members are only available onsite and we are unable to reserve them for you in advance. View the complete list of reciprocal membership participants.

Here's what you can expect when visiting the Seattle Art Museum

  • Reciprocal members can purchase a discounted ticket per reciprocal member card.

  • Free admission to SAM’s Collection galleries

  • 10% discount at SAM Shop.

  • Discounts on films, concerts, and lecture.

Please present your active participating membership card with the appropriate reciprocal stickers to SAM’s Ticketing Desk to secure your ticket. Since you are a member of a different museum, we do not have access to your membership account and are unable to verify your membership status. We will be unable to provide you with reciprocal benefits, including free admission if you do not have this information at time of purchase.

DIGITAL MEMBERSHIP CARDS

Beginning on November 6, 2019, SAM is excited to introduce digital membership cards as a benefit of your membership!

If you are currently using a plastic card, please read on. Please remember, member benefits are non-transferable. ID will be required when presenting both digital and plastic membership cards.

How do I use my digital membership card?
Your digital membership card is unique to your membership and displays your name, membership level, expiration date, and a barcode for us to scan. Simply show your digital membership card and photo ID to our staff at the Admissions Desk, SAM Shop, or TASTE Café to take advantage of your member benefits!

How do I download my digital membership card to my iPhone or Android phone?

Watch this video for step by step instructions on how to download your digital membership card to your smartphone wallet. We've also written the instructions for you here!

How do I access my digital cards?
Digital membership cards will be sent to the primary email address of every active member. Open the email on your mobile device and follow the instructions to download the card to your smartphone wallet. Android users may need to install Wallet Passes from the Play Store prior to download.

If you don’t receive an email or you delete the email, please contact us at membership@seattleartmuseum.org or 206.654.3210 for a new email with link.

Where can I find my digital cards?
Once downloaded, your digital cards will live in your smartphone's wallet.

I have a Dual/Family/Patron/Friend/Fellow Membership or higher, where is my second member card?
This depends on how your record is set up in our system. If we have one email address associated with your membership, your email will contain both membership cards. Once downloaded you will see two membership cards in your digital wallet. Members can then forward the email or use the share feature of the wallet app to ensure that secondary cardholders receive their digital membership card. If we have two email addresses associated with your membership, both members will receive an email with links to their own membership cards.

My second card is a "Guest of" card. How does this work?
Dual/Family/Patron memberships have the option of having one named member card and a flexible 'Guest of' card allowing the primary member to bring a different person with them when they visit. If you have selected your second card to be a 'Guest of' card you will receive a single digital card that can be used for you and a guest. Please remember that these can only be used when the primary named member is present. Learn more about guest privileges at the Premier levels.

What about my discount/guest passes?
Unfortunately, at this time we do not have a way of accessing your discounted/guest passes through your digital card. You will continue to receive paper guest passes mailed to your address. You will be required to present these paper passes at the Ticketing Desk in order to redeem them.

I’m a Premier Member. How can I use my reciprocal benefits without a plastic card and reciprocal sticker?
We have contacted all partnering institutions and have informed them of our new digital card system. Simply show your digital membership card and ID at participating museums to receive free or reduced admission.

Will my digital card update when I renew my membership?
Yes! After your membership has been fully processed your digital card will automatically update with your new expiration date, and any name changes you requested. Please allow up to two weeks for processing. You only have to download the card once!

When will you send me new digital cards?
If you upgrade or downgrade your membership or upon request.

Now that I have my digital membership card how do I use it?
Digital cards function just like plastic membership cards. Please present your digital card and photo ID to the Membership Desk to pick up your free member tickets and enjoy the museum!

What if I prefer a plastic membership card?
By default, all members will now receive a digital membership card sent to the email address you provide. If you prefer to receive a plastic membership card instead, please contact us at 206.654.3210. You can also indicate your preference to receive a plastic membership card as you join or renew your membership onsite or through the mail.

Can I keep using my plastic card?
Yes! You may continue to use existing membership cards and/or request plastic cards when you renew your membership. Look for the check box on your paper membership form. You may also contact us if you would like to receive a plastic card at membership@seattleartmuseum.org.

What if I lose/delete my membership card or it hasn’t arrived yet?

You can visit the museum anytime by showing your photo ID at the Ticketing Desk to verify your membership status. You can also verify your membership status by logging into your online account. If you need a replacement card, plastic or digital please contact the SAM Customer Service Center using the online form.

I don’t want a plastic or digital card
That’s okay! We can always look you up at the Ticketing Desk. Please just present your photo ID to verify your membership status.

Can someone else use my membership card?
Membership benefits are nontransferable. Whether ordering your tickets online or picking them up at the desk, you will be required to present your active SAM membership card and photo ID along with your ticket before entering the galleries. The name on your ticket must match your photo ID or you will be denied entry.

I bought a gift membership. Will the recipient get a digital card?
Currently, digital membership cards are not an option for gift membership purchases. Once the gift recipient has received their membership packet they may request a digital card by contacting the membership office.

Still have questions?
Need help downloading your card? Updating your account information? Give our Customer Service Center a call at 206.654.3210.

PLAN A venue experience

​How do I check for availability or reserve an event space?
Contact the Facilities Marketing Manager by email or by phone at 206.654.3140. Space is available to reserve on a first-come, first-served basis up to 12 months in advance.

Can I stop by to view SAM spaces, and do I need to be escorted?
You are welcome to view the museum and PACCAR Pavilion public spaces any time during public hours. You do not need an escort and you’re not required to pay admission to preview the location for a future event. It’s a good idea to contact the Facilities Marketing Manager to double-check that the spaces you would like to view are not booked for an event during the time you want to visit.

Can I bring in an outside caterer for my event?
We partner with TASTE Events to provide exclusive catering at all SAM locations. All food and beverage arrangements must be made directly with TASTE Events.

What types of events are not allowed at SAM?
College dance events, auctions, and political events are not permitted at SAM. High school reunions and proms, however, are permitted.

If your question is not listed above, please email us at facilities@seattleartmuseum.org.​

The COLLECTION

How can I find out if a specific object or type of object is in the SAM collection?
Please take advantage of eMuseum, SAM's online collection system. It provides access to the nearly 25,000 objects in our holdings. If you cannot find what you are looking for, please email us at collection@seattleartmuseum.org.

Where can I find information about recent acquisitions?
See a selection of SAM's recent acquisitions or email us at collection@seattleartmuseum.org.

How can I get a copy of a label I saw in the galleries?
Please contact libraries@seattleartmuseum.org. If you need label text for an object not on view or you can’t find what you need with the libraries, please contact collection@seattleartmuseum.org.

How can I get an image of something I saw on view at SAM?
For scholarly papers and other publications, the Image Rights Department can license images of artworks and historic images of exhibitions and events.

How can I learn more about an artwork in my own collection?
SAM curatorial staff cannot offer such services. Electronic resources for appraisal, authentication, identification, and research have been identified by the library staff for public use.

How can artists get their work exhibited at one of SAM's locations?
The Seattle Art Museum does not accept unsolicited submissions of art except through the annual Betty Bowen Award.

How can I donate, sell, or lend artwork to the museum?
If you are a collector who would like to offer works of art from your collection to the museum, please follow the guidelines below.

  • Please provide us with as much information as possible about the work, including artist, date, medium, size, and provenance information (history of ownership).

  • Please include an image of the work of art (or multiple images, if offering multiple works).

  • Please state explicitly if you are offering these works for loan (temporarily sharing them with the museum for display), for sale (please include your asking price and date by which you need a decision), or for donation.

  • Please note that the museum cannot identify, authenticate, or appraise your collection.

  • Send your material to the Seattle Art Museum Curatorial Department via email, or to 1300 First Avenue, Seattle, WA 98101. Please note that the museum cannot return materials sent by mail.

Additional Information

  • The process of reviewing your images may take several weeks. It may not be possible to reply to every submission.

  • We cannot make studio visits, see the work in person, or make visits to private collections during the initial phase of the review. If there is sufficient interest from a curator, we will contact you about any further steps.

LIBRARIES

Where can I find more information about the libraries at SAM?
The Seattle Art Museum has three libraries. Two research libraries: the Dorothy Stimson Bullitt Library (SAM downtown) and the McCaw Foundation Library (Asian Art Museum), and a lending library for educators: the Ann P. Wyckoff Education Resource Center (SAM downtown). The research libraries’ combined collection is over 45,000 volumes. The Ann P. Wyckoff Education Resource Center has over 4,000 resources.

Are the SAM Libraries open to the public?
SAM’s libraries are available for research by appointment only. Materials must be used in the library reading rooms. The McCaw Library will be closed during the Asian Art Museum renovation and the Ann P. Wyckoff Education Resource Center (ERC) is open to the public Wednesday through Saturday, 10 am-2 pm. Most of the ERC resources may be checked out for a two-week period.

Do library services carry a fee?
Most of the services we provide are free. Occasionally, there are very minimal charges. Patrons are assessed a fee of $0.10 per page for photocopies after the first 10 pages. Additionally, patrons must pay fees for postage (if applicable) and any other charges incurred by library staff on behalf of the patron. The majority of research requests cost less than $5.

Can the library authenticate or identify an object for me? If not, where should I go?
When possible, library staff can help you find helpful information about an object. We can also provide contact information for appraisal organizations that can appraise, authenticate, or positively identify art.

If your question is not listed above, please email us at libraries@seattleartmuseum.org.​​​​​​​


The Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are located on the ancestral land of the Coast Salish people.