Can I bring in my own caterer?
The Museum has an exclusive caterer, A Social Affair, which must provide all food and beverage for private events.
Can alcohol be served at the Museum?
Yes. Our exclusive caterer, A Social Affair, can provide any alcohol desired.
Do I have to rent my own tables and chairs?
The Museum has an inventory of tables and chairs that are included in all of the rental prices. However, should your event require more tables and/or chairs than we have, you may rent additional tables or chairs from a rental company.
When can my event start?
Private events can start Tuesday through Sunday after 5pm, when the Museum is closed to the public.
How long can my event last at the Museum?
As long as you’d would like it to! Our hourly overhead fee begins at 5pm (our normal closing time) and ends whenever the event ends and the Museum has been cleaned and closed.
Does it cost extra to have the Museum galleries open during my event?
Yes, each gallery area in the Museum has its own hourly fee if opened during an after-hours event.
Can I schedule a rehearsal for my wedding ceremony?
A rehearsal may be scheduled at no additional cost the day before or prior to the wedding or event date during normal operating hours (10am – 5pm) if time and space are available.
Where can my guests park?
When renting the Museum for a private event, you and your guests have exclusive access the Museum’s parking lot, which has 65 parking spaces. Our lot is located behind the Museum, accessible from Richard Arrington, Jr. Boulevard. Additional parking is available at Boutwell Auditorium.
Does the Museum offer valet service?
While we do not offer valet service, we can recommend valet companies to provide the service at your event. Valet service can be arranged at either the back entrance or the Rev. Abraham Woods, Jr. Boulevard front entrance.
Can I take pictures in the Museum?
Photography is allowed in the Museum during private events. However, it should be confined to Oscar’s Café, 8th Avenue Lobby, Red Mountain Garden Club Memorial Garden, Charles Ireland Sculpture Garden and the Steiner Auditorium. Works of art may not be photographed without the prior written permission from a Museum representative. Flash photography in or near the galleries is not permitted. Photography release forms must be signed in advance of taking pictures. Please contact the special events manager for more information.
Can I have a band/DJ at my event?
Yes, you can have any type of musical entertainment at your event. The Museum also has a stage for any entertainment that is included in the rental price.
Can I bring in other outside vendors? Such as florists, lighting designers, etc.?
Yes, besides our exclusive caterer, you can use any of the other talented vendors in Birmingham for flowers, décor, lighting, and wedding cake. The Museum does have a list of preferred vendors that have done great work at the Museum. Contact the special events manager if you’d like more information on our preferred vendors.
Can I decorate the Museum for my event?
Yes, however, all decorations must be approved by the special events manager. At no time is any area of the Museum to be altered or disturbed in any way that might prove harmful to the Museum or its collections. Walls are not to be touched with decorations and tables must be set away from the walls. Nothing can be taped, nailed, or pinned into the walls or in the trees. All decorations must be free standing.
Have another question that we haven’t answered?
Please call our special events manager Jestina Howard at 205-254-2681, for any additional questions.
Information and Event Guidelines
Private Event Hours
Private events can begin any time after 5pm Tuesday-Sunday.
Semi-Private Event Hours
Please contact the Special Events Office to see how we can accommodate your event during Museum hours.
Scheduling & Contracts
A hold can be placed on an event date for up to 10 business days. A date is guaranteed upon receipt of a signed contract and 50% deposit.
The mission of the Birmingham Museum of Art is to collect, preserve, exhibit, and interpret works of art of the highest quality for the enrichment, enlightenment, and enjoyment of the public. We welcome the opportunity to expand the Museum’s educational efforts and increase public awareness of the Museum’s collections and exhibitions through special events that are compatible with the Museum environment.
Facility Rentals Policies
Availability and use of the Museum is subject to current exhibitions or the pending exhibition schedule. Private events can be held Tuesday through Sunday, after 5pm, in any of the Museum’s rental spaces. Semi-private events can be held Tuesday through Sunday, 10am – 5pm, in the Steiner Auditorium, Members Room, or Conference Room.
Holding Dates, Booking Dates, and Cancellations
The special events manager can hold a date for up to ten (10) business days. A rental reservation is considered definite after the date, time, guest count, and location are agreed upon in writing by the Birmingham Museum of Art through the special events manager and:
- A non-refundable deposit of 50% of the total rental fee ($1,500.00 for weddings) has been received by the special events manager.
- Both agreement and facility rental policies form have been read, signed, and returned to the Museum.
Should the event be cancelled, 50% of the deposit shall be refunded with written notice thirty (30) days or more prior to the event date. Should the event be cancelled within thirty (30) days of the event, no refund of deposit shall be made. The balance is due no later than one week before the event takes place at the Museum. You will be sent an invoice for any additional costs that incur during your event.
The following types of events are not permitted at the Birmingham Museum of Art: fundraisers, political events, religious events, live or silent auctions, commercial/promotional events, and events where entrance requires the advance or on-site purchase of a ticket, i.e. ticketed performances or events advertised to the general public.
The Birmingham Museum of Art has strict guidelines on décor including plant and floral arrangements. Please review your décor plans with the special events manager prior to selecting décor.
• At no time is any area of the Museum to be altered or disturbed in any way that might prove harmful to the Museum or its collections.
• Walls are not to be touched with decorations. Nothing can be taped, nailed, or pinned into walls.
• All decorations must be free standing.
• The following items are NOT allowed as décor in the Museum or Red Mountain Garden Club Memorial Garden: candles, sparklers, balloons, glitter, and smoke machines.
Flowers and Plants
The following guidelines are intended to prevent inadvertent damage to artwork during an event:
•Materials to be arranged should be kept atop plastic sheeting (provided by the arranger) during set-up. Every effort should be made to confine materials to a small and tidy area. All plant materials left over must be cleaned up by the arranger and disposed of in a proper waste receptacle.
• Arrangements should not impede the normal traffic flow through the Museum. No limbs or stalks should “stick out” in doorways or hallways.
• Arrangements should be of a sufficient distance from any and all art to ensure that there is no contact with the artwork and that an accident would not result in the arrangement toppling into a piece.
• Plant materials should not touch the walls or floors in galleries.
• No misting is allowed. All containers must be watertight.
• Lily stamens should be removed before entering the building.
• The use of aerosol cans (lacquer, paint, Wilt-Pruf, etc.) and glue guns are prohibited in the galleries.
• Arrangements, lanterns, lights, and other various decorations are not allowed in the trees in the Red Mountain Garden Club Memorial Garden or in the Jaudon pools.
• The following plant materials are prohibited in the Museum: hollowed reed basketry materials, mosses collected in the forest (nursery grown mosses are acceptable), sod, peat moss, bird or insect nests.
Food and Drink
All food and drink must be provided by the Museum’s exclusive catering company, A Social Affair. Food and drink are limited to the 8th Avenue Lobby, Oscar’s Café, and the Red Mountain Garden Club Memorial Garden. Food and drinks are prohibited in any of the galleries and the Steiner Auditorium.
Photography will be allowed inside the Museum of special events. However, all photography should be confined to Oscar’s Café, 8th Avenue Lobby, and the Red Mountain Garden Club Memorial Garden. Works of art may not be photographed without the prior written permission from a Museum representative. Flash photography in or near the galleries is not permitted. The special events manager will work with the professional wedding photographer in advance regarding appropriate sites for photos in the Museum.
The Museum does not allow engagement photo shoots or bridal photo shoots for weddings that are not being held at the Museum.
When renting the Museum for a private event, the client will have exclusive access to the Birmingham Museum of Art’s parking lot. The parking lot has 65 spaces. Additional public parking is available at the Boutwell Auditorium parking deck located at the corner of Rev. Abraham Woods, Jr. Blvd. and 19th Street North ($8.00 per car).
Should the client wish to hire a valet service, the valet company must contact the special events manager to establish the proper traffic logistics with the Museum’s director of security. Valet service at the Museum’s front entrance will require two (2) Birmingham Police Officers to direct traffic. The client will be responsible for paying this cost ($25 per hour, each).
Security and Maintenance
The Birmingham Museum of Art has its own security and maintenance staff that is in the building and parking lot at all times. The Museum reserves the right to hire additional security personnel at the expense of the client to maintain crowd control for an event.
For private events held after 5:00pm, the client will be responsible for paying overhead fees. Overhead fees are charged prior to 9:00am and after 5:00pm, when Security is normally off-duty. After 5:00pm, the client will be charged a minimum of $200.00 per hour until the building is closed and secured. The hourly fee increases with the number of galleries open during the event. Client will also be charged for one hour of clean up after the event (e.g. party is from 8pm until 12am, client charged from 5pm until 1am).
For wedding receptions, the overhead fee is $400 per hour from 5pm until the event is over, and includes all galleries and Museum spaces open. Should a wedding reception have more than 500 guests, the overhead fee will increase to $500 per hour from 5pm until the event is over.
City, state, and federal codes, including safety/fire regulations, will be enforced by the Museum security staff and adhered to by client and client’s guests.
Deliveries, Storage, Setup and Cleanup
All deliveries must take place on the day of the event. Deliveries must be scheduled with the special events manager; any unscheduled delivery will be refused. Deliveries must be made through loading dock: no equipment will be allowed through the glass door entrances. All materials must be removed from the Museum at the event’s conclusion.
The Birmingham Museum of Art has very limited storage areas. The Birmingham Museum of Art will not store any materials overnight and assumes no liability for such items.
Setup and Cleanup:
Setup for private events can begin at 10:00am on the day of the event. The setup and dismantling of decorations is not to disrupt public use of the facility. Vendors and/or clients must bring their own equipment (ladders, rolling carts, extension cords, etc.), as the Museum does not provide this equipment. Vendors and/or clients are responsible for removing all decorations and equipment from the premises at the conclusion of the event. The Museum maintenance staff will clean the facility once all decoration has been removed.
Overhead fees are charged prior to 9am and after 5pm, when Security is normally off-duty. After 5pm, the client will be charged a minimum of $200.00 per hour until the building is closed and secured. The hourly fee increases with the number of galleries open during the event. Client will also be charged for one hour of clean up after the event (e.g. party is from 8pm until 12am, client charged from 5pm until 1am).
No Galleries Open: $200.00 per hour
(Setup areas and entrances open only)
Jemison Galleries Open: $300.00 per hour
(Plus setup areas and entrances open)
Museum Lobby Galleries Open: $300.00 per hour
(Galleries adjacent to Lobby plus setup areas and entrances open)
2nd Floor or 3rd Floor Galleries Open: $400.00 per hour
(Plus setup areas and entrances open)
Entire Museum Open: $500.00 per hour
(All galleries plus setup areas and entrances open)