Sheldon Museum of Art Main Content

Collection Observation Lab

Sheldon’s Collection Observation Lab allows classes and scholars access to objects in the museum’s collection that are not on view in the galleries. The Collection Observation Lab is available by appointment only. A Sheldon staff member will be available at all times of the visit and will handle the artworks.

Access and Booking

The Collection Observation Lab is open by appointment Monday–Friday 9 AM–4 PM. The museum will review requests for visits outside these hours on an individual basis.

To arrange a visit, please complete the online scheduling form below at least 3 weeks in advance of your preferred date and time. A Sheldon staff member will contact you to confirm and finalize the details of your visit. In case of cancellations or rescheduling, please give 24-hour notice.

Selecting Objects

Sheldon has nearly 13,000 objects in its collection. You can search the museum’s collection through our online collection database. Generally, 7–10 objects can be brought out for a visit. A list of requested objects must be submitted at least 2 weeks prior to the visit. Please note that some objects may be too fragile or unavailable for viewing; Sheldon staff will inform you if this is the case.

If you would like assistance in selecting objects, check “Yes” in the online scheduling form and a staff member will contact you.

Policies and Guidelines

Help us maintain a safe environment for museum visitors and the art. Please:

  • Check in at our Visitor Services Center when you arrive.
  • Leave food, drinks, chewing gum, coats, backpacks, bags, umbrellas, and pens in the Visitor Services Center. Free lockers are available on a first-come first-served basis.
  • Use pencil when writing. Extra pencils, paper, and clipboards are available in the Visitor Services Center and the Collection Observation Lab.
  • Confirm with Sheldon staff whether personal photography is allowed. Turn off your flash if it is.
  • Let Sheldon staff move and handle the art.
  • Understand that space is limited to approximately five people. If a group is larger, they will be divided into smaller groups or scheduled in a space within the museum that can accommodate the group size.
Online Scheduling Form

Please select both a preferred visit date and an alternative date in case your first option is not available. Submit this form at least 3 weeks in advance.

A Sheldon staff member will contact you to confirm and finalize the details of your visit.

If the visiting group is a class, please provide the course number and name.
Open by appointment Monday–Friday 9 AM–4 PM
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If already determined, please list the objects you wish to study during your visit (artist, title, date). Please note: Generally, up to 10 objects can be brought out for a visit, depending on size.