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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.



What has SAM done to prepare for reopening?
We have carefully planned for our reopening in alignment with Governor Inslee’s guidelines for museums outlined in the Healthy Washington—Roadmap to Recovery plan. Please visit SAM Blog for complete details about new procedures.

Do I need to get tickets in advance?
Advanced online timed tickets are encouraged and special exhibition tickets are likely to sell out. On-site tickets are available only if time slots are not sold out. Please arrive prior to your reserved ticket time. If you are more than 15 minutes late, we may not be able to accommodate entry.

Is there a time limit for visits?
Visitors are welcome to stay as long as they want once they have entered the galleries. There is no reentry if you leave the building.

Do I have to wear a mask?
Yes. Face masks will be required for all visitors over the age of two. Use of masks is mandated by the Governor and will be enforced; staff will confirm you have masks for every member of your party before you enter the building.

Have the entrances and exits changed?
Yes. At the Seattle Art Museum, only the First and Union entrance will be open. The south entrance (the Hammering Man entrance) and the South Hall are closed. At the Asian Art Museum, please follow the one-way traffic signs at the entrance.

Will parts of the museum be closed?
Seattle Art Museum: All galleries will be open, except for the Italian Room. The entire south wing of the museum will be closed, including South Hall and South Hall restrooms, the Grand Staircase, the Chase Open Studio and the Ann P. Wyckoff Education Resource Center. The Bullitt Library, and children play areas will also be closed.
Asian Art Museum: The Education Studio, Community Gallery, Chen Community Meeting Room, and the McCaw Foundation Library will be closed.

Will physical distancing be enforced?
Yes. One-way traffic flows and helpful guidelines throughout the museum will identify safe distances between visitors. Children must stay with adults at all times. Capacity limits will be posted on restroom doors and some stalls will be closed.

Will the SAM Shop be open?
The Seattle Art Museum Shop and Gallery and Asian Art Museum Shop will be open with limited capacity to museum visitors with a valid ticket. No cash will be accepted; credit/debit cards only.

Will TASTE Café be open?
At this time, TASTE Café remains closed. Outside food and beverage are not permitted. Water fountains have been turned off; bottled water will be available for purchased in SAM Shop.

What sanitation protocols are in place?
Enhanced cleaning of high-touch surfaces will be conducted throughout the day; hand-sanitizer units are stationed throughout the building. All high-touch interactives have been converted to no-touch or removed from the galleries.

Will coat check be available?
Coat check will not be available; please leave backpacks and bags larger than 11" x 15" at home, or in your car. An unstaffed coat rack is available for patrons to use at their own risk.

Will wheelchairs and strollers be available?
Sorry, no strollers will be available to check out. You may bring your personal stroller to the museum. Wheelchairs are available upon request and will be cleaned after every use.

Will there be gallery tours?
No tours will be offered at this time. Group tours or school tours will not be permitted at this time.

When will the Olympic Sculpture Park PACCAR Pavilion open?
Plans to reopen the PACCAR Pavilion is in the works. Stay tuned for more information!

Where can I find information for SAM members?
Frequently asked questions specifically related to SAM members can be found here.


What does "suggested admission" mean?
Suggested admission means visitors may choose to pay anything from a penny to $19.99 for general admission when they purchase tickets. General admission includes access to Collections and Installations at Seattle Art Museum and is suggested. Suggested admission tickets do not include entry to special exhibitions which have fixed pricing. Suggested admission is not currently available online. Please call SAM’s Customer Service Center, 206.654.3210, 10 am–5 pm, Monday through Friday, to pay what you wish for tickets.

Are there any discounts for admission?
Yes! Below are discounts that are always available at the Seattle Art Museum and the Asian Art Museum, as well as discounts available for visiting special exhibitions.

  • SAM offers suggested admission pricing for general admission tickets to SAM's Collections & Installations (special exhibitions excluded) and the Asian Art Museum. We are currently unable to process suggested pricing online, please call the Customer Service Center to secure a ticket for a suggested donation.

  • 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 the Seattle Art Museum is free.

  • The First Friday of every month seniors get free general admission to the Seattle Art Museum. Tickets to special exhibitions downtown are an additional $7.99.

  • The last Friday of every month admission to the Asian Art Museum is free.

  • Admission to the Olympic Sculpture Park is always free!

Visiting special exhibitions

  • 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.

While operating as limited capacity, we are unable to apply coupons for discounted tickets to purchases. We are also unable to honor tickets purchased through third-party partners, such as Expedia.

What is First Thursday?
On the first Thursday of each month, the Seattle Art Museum offers free admission to all exhibitions for all visitors.


Do I need to purchase a ticket online?
Yes. We are asking visitors to purchase tickets online and print them out at home or save them your mobile device. Please note we have adopted a new ticketing system.

How can I pay what I want for advance tickets online?
Suggested admission is not currently available online but you can use the Customer Service Center online form to get tickets in advance or call SAM’s Customer Service Center, 206.654.3210, 10 am–5 pm, Monday through Friday, to pay what you want for tickets.

Why is SAM adopting a new ticketing system?
The current ticketing system technology is over a decade old and no longer supported. SAM has transitioned to a new platform from the non-profit organization Tessitura. Our visitors and members will see some changes in the online purchase process as a result.

If I have an online account, what will happen when the new ticketing system is deployed?
If you have an account, your information will be imported into the new ticketing system, except for your unique customer password. Temporary passwords will be assigned to accounts with email addresses.

You will need to click on “Forgot Password” to complete your account profile and establish a new password.

After the new ticketing system is active, if you are a SAM member, be sure to log in as a member before you add tickets to your cart. Your member rates will be converted to the correct price at the checkout page.

That’s it! Once you update your password, you will be able to get tickets online, renew or purchase memberships, and make donations.

We apologize for the brief inconvenience, but are confident this change will improve our onsite and online ticket purchase experience for all of our members and visitors.

What if I do not already have an online account?
If you do not have an account already, you will be prompted to create an account with a login and password in order to check out online.

What do I do if I lost my print-at-home tickets?
Please contact SAM’s Customer Service Center through our online form to request your print-at-home tickets be sent to you via email.

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 before you purchase additional tickets. You can also log in to to your SAM account and confirm your purchase under Purchase History.

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

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.

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.



I’m a member, do I need to reserve my tickets in advance?
Yes. Because capacity is limited we are requiring all guests, including members, to secure online timed tickets in advance. If you are unable to reserve online, please call or email the customer service center.

How do I access my member tickets online?
Our online ticket processing platform has changed. The first time you access the new platform, you will need to create a password to access your online member account. After entering the email associated with your previous online member account, you will need to click on “Forgot Password” to complete your account profile and establish a new password. You will receive an email that should prompt you to do so. Once you update your password, you will be able to get tickets online, renew or purchase memberships, and make donations.

I’m logged in as a member but I only see general admission tickets. Where are my member tickets?
If you are a SAM member, be sure to log in as a member before you add tickets to your cart. Your member rates will be converted to the correct price at the checkout page.

Why can’t I see my expiration date on my account?
We have just transitioned to a new online platform and hope to make membership expiration dates available online shortly.

Are you offering member extensions?
We are not extending expiration dates, however we are offering a grace period of up to four months based on your expiration date. The grace period will provide you with access to member tickets beyond your current membership expiration date. As your expiration date nears we will send you an email with more details on how to continue to access member tickets.

Can I use my Guest Passes?
We are unable to accept any member discount or guest passes at this time. To make up for this inconvenience, we will continue to accept these passes past the expiration date listed so that you can use them once we are able to resume in-person ticketing.

I’m a reciprocal member, can I get member tickets?
Unfortunately, we are temporarily unable to honor reciprocal membership privileges at this time as we are requiring advance reservations due to COVID-19 restrictions.

I’m a premier member, can I bring guests to the member reopening weekend?
As a premier member you are entitled to free admission for up to four with your membership. At this time, we are not able to accommodate the use of guest passes or the purchasing of additional tickets for guests.

May I join or renew on site?
Yes, but we strongly encourage you to do so online through SAM’s website, by mail, or by calling the Customer Service Center to limit contact between staff and visitors at the museum.

Will you be scanning physical and digital member cards?
For the time being we will not be scanning cards to limit contact.

General Information

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

  • 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 or 206.654.3210.

  • On site: Tickets are not available on site 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.


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 Shops, 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 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

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 Venue Experiences department 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 Venue Experiences department 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​


How can I find out if a specific object or type of object is in SAM's 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

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

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

How can I get an image of something I saw at your locations?
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.


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?
At this time SAM’s libraries are closed. Typically the Dorothy Stimson Bullitt Library and McCaw Foundation Library are open to the public by appointment only. Materials must be used in the library reading rooms. Appointments can be set for either library by emailing

The Ann P. Wyckoff Education Resource Center (ERC) is also closed until further notice.

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​​​​​​​

Seattle Art Museum acknowledges that we are on the traditional homelands of the Duwamish and the customary territories of the Suquamish and Muckleshoot Peoples. As a cultural and educational institution, we honor our ongoing connection to these communities past, present, and future. We also acknowledge the urban Native peoples from many Nations who call Seattle their home.

Learn more about Equity at SAM