General Information

Hours & Admission

Wheelchair Accessibility

Recommended Attire

Dining & Picnic Options

No Pets Please

Drawing, Painting and Photography at the Museum

Research Requests

Hours & Admission

The Museum of the Shenandoah Valley is open Tuesday through Sunday (closed Monday). Admission includes the galleries, gardens and Glen Burnie House (admission is not required to visit the first floor of the Museum where you can enjoy Art in the Halls and shop in the Museum Store. Please begin your visit in the Museum Lobby where admission tickets are sold. The walk from the Museum to the gardens takes less than five minutes; however, a visit to the site may easily last more than two hours. Additional information about hours of operation and admission fees is available here.

Wheelchair Accessibility

The Museum is wheelchair accessible. Several wheelchairs are available for use free of charge during your MSV visit. Simply ask the Visitor Services in the Museum Lobby.

Recommended Attire

Please wear comfortable walking shoes for your visit and dress for the weather to tour the gardens. In the event of rain—without thunder or lightning—the gardens are open (bring an umbrella). In the event of thunder or lightning, the gardens will close. Lockers are available free of charge in the lobby area for visitors to store coats, small bags, and umbrellas.

Dining & Picnic Options

Picnics are welcome in the Museum Gardens. From April through December, a picnic area is open to guests at the garden entrance. Snacks and beverages are available for purchase in the Museum Store. Several bistro tables are located on the first floor of the MSV (two seats per table).

No Pets Please

Only service animals are permitted inside the gardens and galleries. Please do not bring your pets with you.

Drawing, Painting, and Photography at the Museum

The following applies to the museum’s policies on drawing, painting, and photography:

Sketching with Pencils in the Galleries

Sketching is permitted in the galleries. (Some loan and exhibition agreements may prohibit sketching, drawing, or painting. Such restrictions will be posted.) Only graphite pencils are allowed. Pens, markers, crayons, charcoals, colored pencils, chalks or pastels are not permitted. Please use only pencil sharpeners that will contain any shavings.

Please use firm drawing boards, clipboards, and sketch pads as support. These may not exceed 18 x 24 inches. Guests may not use easels.

Painting in the Gardens

Painting in oil, acrylic, tempera, pastel, or watercolor is permitted in the gardens during public hours. Sketching is also permitted. Please keep materials contained and dispose of any waste in proper receptacles. Please use an easel, firm drawing board, or other firm surface as support.

Please do not enter planting beds. We request that painters refrain from interrupting or impeding tour groups or programs. Please check at the Gatehouse for information regarding the day’s events.


Groups of three or more individuals intending to draw or paint must make a reservation by contacting Deborah Hilty at [email protected] or call 540-662-1473 ext. 224. Please check in at the Guest Services desk upon arrival.

Photography at the Museum

The MSV encourages its guests to take casual photographs and videos of their visit for their own personal, non-commercial use.  These photographers do not need to sign this policy.

All commercial photographers must pay a location fee to use the gardens for photo shoots (see below).

There are some photography restrictions for all photographers at the MSV:

  • Depending on the exhibition, photography may be prohibited in the Changing Exhibitions Gallery. Such restrictions will be posted.
  • In the galleries, only non-flash photography is permitted.
  • Tripod or monopod use is limited to the gardens and is not permitted in the galleries. Advance reservations/permissions are not required for personal, non-commercial tripod/monopod use.

To take photos at the MSV, amateur photographers/ videographers must purchase general admission to the MSV or be MSV Members. Admission fees are not required on free-admission days.

Please Note:

  • All photography is at the discretion of the MSV.
  • All wedding photography is considered commercial and a location fee of $100/hour is required, as are advance reservations. Email [email protected] or call 540-662-1473, ext. 227 to make arrangements.
  • Product photography is not permitted.
  • Commercial filming and commercial photography/photo shoots are permitted by appointment only and permission is granted at the discretion of the MSV. Location fees are required, and certain restrictions may apply. For information about commercial photography and filming, email [email protected] or call 540-662-1473, ext. 227.

If you are interested in drawing or painting in the galleries and would like more information, please download and sign the following Application Form and submit it to the MSV Admissions Desk or Gatehouse:


Research Requests

If you are interested in more information about an object(s) in the MSV Collection, please fill out this Research Request Form and email it to [email protected] or mail it to:

Museum of the Shenandoah Valley
Atten: Collections Department
901 Amherst Street
Winchester, VA 22601


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