March 5th, 2005

Rubin Museum of Art

At the Rubin Museum of Art on West 17th Street near Seventh Avenue I asked the admission clerk if I could take photos, and she said yes, but only on the first and second floors. I motioned toward a gold Siva sculpture to the left and I said, “Would that be OK?” And she nodded yes.

I had the icon framed when I heard an authority-laden feminine voice, “Excuse me, sir? Excuse me?” I pretended not to hear and I gently pressed the shutter, thus getting the shot before the girl said what I knew she’d say.

“I’m sorry, sir, but photographs aren’t permitted here because that’s part of a traveling collection.”
“Just a moment ago I asked that young lady if I could take a picture here, and she said yes.”
“Well, maybe she came late and didn’t get the correct information.”
“Fine. Let’s be clear now. Where MAY I take photographs?”
“This floor, and the second. But not part of the traveling collection.”
“Thank you.”