Photography

The Soane is a wonderful source of inspiration for artists, architects, historians and others.  We create an atmosphere of going back to 1837, a time when such things did not exist.  We are the only Museum in London where you will find such a unique experience.  Photography distracts visitors and reduces awareness of the risk of accidental damage to the collection.  Photography, using either a camera, mobile phone or iPad is not permitted in the Museum. We have implemented the following measures to try to accommodate some of the photography requests which we receive. 

A range of high quality images of the interiors and some objects and paintings are available for a small fee.  Please click here for more details.

Press and bloggers may register with our Media Centre: www.soane.org/media_centre to access free images for publication and press releases.

Some images will soon be available for free through our Flickr page: www.flickr.com/photos/sirjohnsoanesmuseum.

Students may apply for a photography permit if their field of study requires it.  Applications must be made in writing through the course tutor and addressed to:

The Director, Sir John Soane’s Museum, 13 Lincoln’s Inn Fields, London, WC2A 3BP
Email: (this email requires javascript)

Please supply:
1. Your contact details including address.
2. Reasons for wishing to photograph.
3. What you wish to photograph including details of the objects and rooms you would like to photograph (perspective, lighting etc).
4. Name of college or university, year of study, course title and the name of your lecturer.

If permission is granted, you will be asked to produce a copy of the relevant permission received and your student ID card to receive your photography permit. Your pass must be handed back on departure.  Your lecturer will be contacted if you fail to do so.

Consider the reasons for delinatures below.  Images taken without flash and tripods are often disappointing quality, and so you may prefer to purchase images from us as detailed above.

You will be asked to sign a letter undertaking that any photographs taken will only be used for the purpose stated and will not be sold or published at any time in the future without the express permission of the Museum.  Photographs must not be published onto websites.  This poses a threat to the security of the collection and we reserve the right to take action.

Copies of all photographs must be provided to the Museum for our archive.  Digital images must be GIF or JPEG.  If you edit digital images, please clearly label the edited version and the original version, and advise us which changes have been made.  Images supplied must be the largest size (dpi) available.  If used in a thesis or approved publication, please acknowledge ‘By courtesy of the Trustees of Sir John Soane’s Museum’.


The following is prohibited and requests will be declined:
• Using the interiors as a backdrop for any reason. 
• Requests to photograph on Saturdays, outside of our opening hours or during our evening candlelit openings.
• Moving objects or closing off areas of the Museum.
• Use of flash or tripods.
• Photography in the Picture Room, Monk’s Yard or the New Courtyard. 
• Photographs of any people, (staff and visitors).

We ask that you please be considerate of our visitors and obey any instructions from our Warders.  The spaces in the Museum are very restricted and filled with valuable objects.  The very greatest care must be taken not to damage, accidentally back into or brush against any objects.  Equipment must be kept at a safe distance, as far away as possible from works of art, mirrors, glass bookcase doors etc.  Do not block staircases or emergency exits. 

All photography is at the discretion of the Director or Deputy Director.

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