Visitor Tips

art you can get into


The Mattress Factory is not your typical museum. You won't find any cavernous white galleries or imposing security guards here. In fact, some of our spaces might feel more like a home than a museum! That's because installations are artworks that are site-specific and designed to transform the perception of a space. All of the works at the Mattress Factory are conceived in the space you view them.


Experiencing installation art is a little different than viewing a painting or sculpture. We mean it when we say this is "art you can get into." Feel free to walk all around the space, and take your time - many installations have intricate details. Use all of your senses, and observe how the space makes you feel and what thoughts come up. Your reaction to an installation may be the installation itself. Plan for 2-3 hours to fully explore all three of the museum's buildings.


Keep in mind that "installation" art is not the same as "interactive" art. Museum staff will let you know which installations, if any, are meant to be touched. While you are exploring the space, please do not climb on the artwork, furniture or architectural features. You may have a strong reaction to the installations [in fact, we hope you do!] - but please keep loud noises to a minimum so that other guests may enjoy the museum as well.


Some of our installations, particularly works by Yayoi Kusama and James Turrell, encocurage a meditative experience. If you'd like to explore the museum in peace, Thursday is usually the quietest day to visit. Saturday tends to be the busiest day at the museum - take advantage of our free drop-in tours and interactive ARTLab projects on the first and third Saturday of each month.




What goes up must come down! Artwork is typically on view for nearly a year at a time, but to create new pieces there are brief periods where museum spaces may not be accessible due to construction. Please check our Exhibitions section carefully to determine what works may be on view during your visit. If you have questions, please call the Admissions Desk at 412.231.3169 for clarification.




Photography: Personal photographs are encouraged in any gallery unless otherwise noted. Please use #MattressFactory when sharing images on social media. Flashes or tripods are not permitted. Any commercial or professional photography must have prior approval from the museum before filming, and may be subject to additional fees. Visit the MF Press Room for more information.


Food + Drink: Please do not bring food and drink into the museum's galleries. The MF Café offers delicious seasonal soups, salads, sandwiches and treats from 11:00am - 4:00pm, Tuesday - Saturday. Museum admission is not required to dine!


Strollers: Strollers may be used throughout our galleries at 500 Sampsonia Way. In our other two buildings, strollers must be left in the lobby areas.


Cell Phones: For the benefit of other visitors, please try to avoid making or taking phone calls while in the galleries. Please also be mindful of light and noise from cell phones while viewing our permanent James Turrell installations on the second floor of 500 Sampsonia Way.


Admission: Mattress Factory exhibitions are spread throughout three buildings. Please visit the admissions desk at 500 Sampsonia Way first to get your admission tags, then make your way to the other spaces.


Prohibited Items: Professional photography equipment and luggage-sized bags are not permitted in our gallery spaces. Large bags must be left with a gallery attendant in the lobby of 516 Sampsonia Way while viewing Dennis Maher's "A Second Home" installation. Smoking is not permitted anywhere in the Mattress Factory, or on museum property. Electronic cigarettes are not allowed in the galleries.