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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

COVID-19 RESPONSE

Do I need to show proof of vaccination?
Yes, in accordance with the latest Public Health—Seattle & King County order, starting October 25, 2021, all visitors age 12 and older must show proof of full vaccination or a negative COVID-19 PCR test administered by a testing agent within the previous 72 hours of their visit to enter the museum. Safety protocols change and evolve rapidly, please refer to What to Know When You Visit SAM for the most up-to-date information.

Will you accept a negative COVID-19 test in lieu of proof of vaccination?
Yes, a negative COVID-19 PCR test taken within the previous 72 hours and administered by a testing agent, including a laboratory, health care provider, or pharmacy, is acceptable to enter the museum. Safety protocols change and evolve rapidly, please refer to What to Know When You Visit SAM for the most up-to-date information.

Since youth aren’t eligible for vaccination until they are 12, is there a grace period before a 12-year-old needs to show proof of vaccination?
Yes. Twelve-year-olds may participate if an adult can state that the child is in the process of getting vaccinated. Twelve-year-olds are required to be vaccinated, but we recognize that it takes additional weeks after they turn 12 to complete all shots and be fully vaccinated.

Do children under the age of 12 need to show proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test?
No, the requirements do not apply to children under 12 years old.

Will religious or medical exemptions be accepted in lieu of proof of vaccination?
No, SAM will not be making a distinction between religious or medical exemptions. Instead, a negative test will be accepted as an alternative to proof of vaccination.

Do I have to wear a mask?
Masks are required to enter the museum for all individuals over the age of two regardless of vaccination.

Are there physical distancing guidelines?
Physical distancing is required. Please pay attention to physical distance between you and other visitors and staff. Keep your group together and remain six feet away from others.

Do I need to get tickets in advance?
Online advance ticket purchase is strongly encouraged, but a limited number of tickets will be available for purchase onsite. General Admission and Special Exhibition tickets are released online the first Thursday of every month on a rolling basis.

Is there a time limit for visits?
Visitors are welcome to stay as long as they want once they have entered the galleries. 

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 Seattle Asian Art Museum, please follow the one-way traffic signs at the entrance.

Will parts of the museum be closed?
Seattle Art Museum: 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.
Seattle Asian Art Museum: The Education Studio, Community Gallery, Chen Community Meeting Room, and the McCaw Foundation Library will be closed.

Will the SAM Shop be open?
The Seattle Art Museum Shop and Gallery and Seattle Asian Art Museum Shop are open. 

Will MARKET SEATTLE be open?
Seattle Art Museum's new restaurant, MARKET SEATTLE, is now open. For information on hours and menu selections, please visit their website.

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?
Yes, coat check is now available.

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.

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

ADMISSION POLICIES

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 Seattle 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 Seattle 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 Seattle 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 individuals, families, or groups, 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.

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

During the COVID-19 pandemic, 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.

ONLINE PURCHASES

Do I need to purchase a ticket online?
A limited number of tickets will be available for purchase at the museum. Tickets to the Special Exhibition are timed and limited, and online advance purchase is recommended. Tickets will be released online on a monthly rolling basis.

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.

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 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.

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 filming or recording        

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 here. 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.

membership

REOPENING INFORMATION

I’m a member, do I need to reserve my tickets in advance?
A limited number of tickets will be available for purchase at the museum. Tickets to the special exhibition are timed and limited, and online advance purchase is recommended. 

How do I access my member tickets online?
Tickets are available here. If it is your first time accessing tickets, 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.

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. Click on "Forgot Password" here to recover your user ID and/or password. If you have never used the site to purchase or reserve tickets, go here and click on "Register Account" to set up your account with your Member ID number.

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.

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 to see your member benefit pricing reflected in your cart.

Can I use my Guest Passes?
Yes, we have resumed accepting Guest Passes on-site.

I’m a reciprocal member, can I get member tickets?
Yes, we have resumed reciprocal member privileges. Please be prepared to show your participating museum membership card with reciprocity designation at the ticketing desk. Reciprocal member tickets are not available online.

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?
All visitors need a ticket to visit SAM. You may secure your complimentary member tickets and purchase tickets for your guests online or onsite. Please note the following:

  • 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 by registering 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: A limited number of tickets will be available for purchase at the museum.

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 special exhibitions during Member Previews and special Member Monday Days. Guests of members will be asked to pay regular admission price for the exhibition.

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.

DIGITAL MEMBERSHIP CARDS

SAM now issues digital memberships cards unless a plastic card is requested. 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 Ticketing Desk, SAM Shops, or MARKET Seattle 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, you will recieve one email with 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! You only need to download your card once. After your membership has been fully processed your digital card will automatically update with your new expiration date, and any name changes you request. Please allow up to two weeks for processing. 

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 Ticketing 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, online, 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 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 Shooby Doo Catering to provide exclusive catering at all SAM locations. All food and beverage arrangements must be made directly with Shooby Doo Catering.

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 venues@seattleartmuseum.org.​

The COLLECTION

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 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 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.

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?
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 libraries@seattleartmuseum.org.

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 libraries@seattleartmuseum.org.​​​​​​​


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