Photography, Painting and Filming Policy and Fee Schedule

Hill-Stead Museum’s grounds and gardens provide a stunning backdrop for photography and filming. We are dedicated to maintaining and preserving their unique beauty so that they can be enjoyed by the thousands of visitors we welcome each year. Please help Hill-Stead maintain its site by following our Photography and Filming policy.

The museum funds its operating budget through charitable donations from individuals, foundations and corporations. Stop by our Museum Shop for more information about joining as a member or paying the nominal fees to use the property.  For more information, please contact Sarah Wadsworth, Manager of Private Rentals and Corporate Functions, 860-677-4787 ext 134 or wadsworths@hillstead.org.

Amateur Photography – photography for which no income is derived.

Visitors may photograph the museum grounds for their personal enjoyment. We ask visitors not to:

  • walk in flower beds,
  • climb or sit on stone walls—this is for your safety, they can collapse without warning
  • disturb or disrupt Museum or private events or photographic sessions which are underway.

Instructors or leaders of amateur photography or painting clubs, classes or workshops, who are charging a fee or tuition for participation, must make a reservation for use of the grounds at least 7 days in advance by calling the For more information, please see our Guidelines for Visitors, or contact Sarah Wadsworth, Manager of Private Rentals and Corporate Functions, 860-677-4787 ext 134 or wadsworths@hillstead.org. A fee of $10/participant is required.

Professional Photography – photography from which income is derived.

A reservation, made at least 7 days in advance, is required for any professional photography session. Reservations can be scheduled by calling the Facility Rentals Manager at 860-677-4787, ext. 134. Your photography session will be noted on Hill-Stead’s central calendar. A session pass will be issued which may be picked up in person prior to your scheduled session or mailed to you. This pass must be prominently displayed on your person/equipment or presented to security personnel when requested.

  • Bridal/Wedding Day Photography
    $350 for up to 2 hours; maximum 25 guests/session.
  • Portrait Photography
    $150 per session.

If not scheduled in advance the session must take place during museum business hours so that you may purchase your pass in the museum gift shop (or on Mondays, in our business office.)

  • Commercial Filming and Photography
    Please contact the Sarah Wadsworth, Manager of Private Rentals and Corporate Functions, 860-677-4787 ext 134 or wadsworths@hillstead.org. to discuss your project. Inquiries will be assessed on a case by case basis and fees established based on the project’s scope, length, and impact on Museum operations. Additional fees may be charged for administrative costs, security, grounds and event staff coverage.

Guidelines for Artists

You will find our buildings, gardens, meadows, woodlands, fences, stone walls and views an inspiration for your artwork. Help keep this unique property in excellent condition. Kindly observe the following rules:

  • Please restrict your use of permanent materials, such as acrylic and oil paints, to grassy surfaces; do not work directly on stonewalls and bluestone paths, porches, or walkways.
  • The grounds and gardens are open from 7:30 am to 5:30 pm. Please plan your visits accordingly. We ask that you park in designated parking lots only and not on the grass or along interior roads.
  • During public hours you are welcome to use our restrooms in the Makeshift Theater. There are beverages available for sale in a vending area. There is also a wonderful array of art books, prints, cards and gifts available for sale in our Museum Shop.
  • Picnicking is allowed in the designated picnic areas.
  • As a normal precaution when venturing out of doors, please remember to keep away from poison ivy. In addition, dress and use insect repellent with ticks in mind.
  • Hill-Stead Museum is open to the public Tuesday through Sunday. Consider taking a break from your project to tour the inside of the museum – find inspiration in the fully intact period rooms, architectural details, French Impressionist paintings and other artwork!
  • Consider making a donation to the museum or becoming a museum member. Stop by our Museum Shop for more information.