Museum Hours
Thu: 1 PM–8 PM
Fri–Mon: 10 AM–5 PM
Tue–Wed: Closed
200 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

Photography and Image Rights

The Asian Art Museum’s registration department manages a photo library of approximately 18,000 objects in the collection.

Licensing and permission requests for editorial, scholarly, trade, advertising, website and corporate image use; rental of high-quality images; and purchase of images for personal and scholarly use should be requested through our online form.

Photographers and members of the press should contact the public relations department (415.581.3711; [email protected]) with requests for images of museum events and exhibitions, and for permission to film inside the museum.

Photography Policy

Still photography of objects in the permanent collection taken in existing light with a handheld camera is permitted for personal, non-commercial use only. The use of tripods, flashes and video cameras is prohibited. Photography is not permitted in galleries containing special exhibitions. Photographs taken in the museum may not be sold, reproduced or distributed without written permission from the museum.


High-resolution digital files are available to rent for publication pending approval of reproduction requests.

Making a Request

Please submit a request via the Image Request for Professional Use form or the Image Request for Study or Personal Use form as appropriate.

Written requests submitted via email, fax and regular mail are accepted and should include the following information: accession number and title or description of the object to be reproduced, description of the intended use, title of the publication, publisher, author, publication date, print run, and deadline to receive materials. Please also indicate language(s) of publication and distribution rights being sought. It is often useful to include a photocopy of the desired image for positive identification of the object and the particular view(s) being requested.

Requests for images involving searches of the collection will be accepted and clients will be advised if research fees apply. See the keyword-searchable database of the collection.

While many objects in the collection are represented in the photo library, some are not. If digital images are not available, it may be possible to arrange for special photography by the staff photographer. Additional fees and an extended turnaround time will apply.


The Asian Art Museum is the copyright holder for all digital files of works of art in the Asian Art Museum photo library. Reproduction of an Asian Art Museum image without a licensing agreement will constitute an infringement of copyright.

Please note that copyright for some works of art in the museum’s collection may be owned by a third party. Requestors will be notified if additional copyright clearance will be required prior to proceeding with their request. It is the responsibility of the requestor to contact the third party for permission to reproduce the work of art where copyright is owned by a third party. The Asian Art Museum will provide whatever information it has available to assist with this process. The Asian Art Museum assumes no responsibility for any royalties or fees claimed by an artist or a third party.

The Asian Art Museum requires that proof of copyright clearance or proof of attempt at rights clearance be provided prior to the release of images and completion of licensing agreement. The unauthorized reproduction, distribution, or alteration of images may result in a violation of federal copyright law (17. U.S.C.A.§101 et. seq.).

Payment and Processing

The standard turnaround time for requests is six to eight weeks; however, the utmost attention and care are taken to process and meet client deadlines.

Fees are charged for rental or purchase of visual assets (digital files) and usage fees. When a request for reproduction and/or rental or purchase of an image is received, a detailed description of all charges will be submitted to the client. Once approved, contracts and an invoice will be issued.

Signed contracts and prepayment are required before images are released. Publication of an image prior to payment in full and receipt of a countersigned agreement is an unauthorized use and additional charges will apply. All payments must be made in U.S. dollars via check, credit card or wire transfer.

Contact and Address

Inquiries regarding rights and reproduction/ licensing should be addressed to:

Image Services
Asian Art Museum
Chong-Moon Lee Center for
Asian Art and Culture
200 Larkin Street
San Francisco, CA 94102

or request online using our form.

The Asian Art Museum reserves the right to deny permission to reproduce an image from its collection to any application that is deemed inappropriate or unacceptable.The Asian Art Museum of San Francisco gives no exclusive rights to any publisher, author or photographer and assumes no responsibility for duplication of subjects by others or any responsibility for claims by third parties.