Would you prefer that museum and gallery security guards not wear “intimidating” uniforms?
I think it depends on the museum audience and collections. For art galleries, I would prefer uniforms a la The Maiden Heist. The swanky jackets and suits that I’ve seen in most galleries, from the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art in Kansas City, Missouri to the Laing Art Gallery in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England give off a vibe of authority yet openness. After all, from what I understand, security at most museums perform the dual role of supervising the galleries while serving as on-staff docents.
On the other hand though, the museum where I currently work, the Tellus Science Museum, targets mostly children and families. At Tellus, security mainly enforces the no food/drink policy, answer guest questions, and works as loss prevention staff in the store. The security here and at similar museums should lean more toward the approachable side, rather than maintaining a stern and somewhat intimidating appearance.
Furthermore, security guards’ attire and behavior should really be based on the value of the collections, along with the likelihood of something happening to the collections. Obviously, galleries like the section of the Tower of England that displays the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom merit heavy security.
All in all, security attire and behavior should really be decided on a case-to-case basis, keeping museum/gallery missions and values in mind.