While I agree that the government has been wrong with the recent domain seizures, are there any laws that justify this or are they just assuming they have the right based on a broad interpretation of other laws?
The one thing I find interesting is that some people claim this is a 1st Amendment issue, but it's really not. the 1st Amendment says:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
If there are no specific laws that justify this but instead are using a broad interpretation of other laws, then it's really not a 1st Amendment issue.
Disturbing and wrong? Yes. Violating the Constitution? Technically, no. Either way, it's very sad.
I've been to the Art Institute of Chicago and if I remember correctly, the only post this for special exhibits. For example, when I last went there, they had a special exhibit of Soviet propaganda posters from the 1940's. Photographs were banned in that exhibit. My assumption is that this was due to the book they were selling that contained pictures of all of the art in that exhibit.
I also think the comments about tripods, flash photography, etc. being a nuisance are probably accurate. For example, someone using a tripod to take pictures would be extremely annoying, especially considering how crowded some parts of the museum were.