The Johnson Museum of Art’s mission aims to embody Cornell’s commitment as a University that is broad in scope, open, and accessible to all. Endowment growth is central to achieving the Museum’s ambitious goals to support the many faculty and students who use the Museum to support their teaching and research. In order to maintain the Johnson’s status as one of the leading college and university art museums, the Museum seeks to permanently endow important curatorial positions, solidify its operating endowment, and renovate several galleries and other spaces to ensure that the collections are presented, interpreted, and developed in ways that support Cornell faculty and students as well as the public now and into the future.
An endowment gift to the Johnson Museum of Art provides a highly visible and lasting tribute to an individual or individuals whose extraordinary contributions deserve recognition and commemoration.
Staff positions are important both for the day-to-day functioning of the Museum and its long-term development to continue its role as an educational and cultural asset for Cornell University and other audiences. The Museum seeks to permanently endow curatorial positions that have broad general oversight of stewardship and development of the Museum’s permanent collection as well as internships.
Endowed Curatorial Positions
• Curator of Asian Art
• Curator of Modern and Contemporary Art & Photography
• Curator of European Art before 1800
The Johnson Museum seeks to endow two post-baccalaureate internships to provide opportunities for outstanding Cornell students to work closely with Museum staff for one or two years. Responsibilities would include taking part in the day-to-day operations of the Museum, getting to know and helping to research the collection, assisting curators with provenance research, working with curators and faculty to select and present art for classes, supervising the teaching classrooms, assisting with public inquiries, and helping to develop exhibitions or working on a project in their area of interest. Post-baccalaureate internship programs provide critical pre-professional training for promising young scholars to gain valuable museum experience and establish contacts in the field. The presence of stellar Cornell students will also offer a new vitality and excitement to Museum initiatives. These young scholars will, in turn, become important ambassadors to the field of the visual arts and for Cornell University and the Johnson Museum.
Collections and Programs
Donors may create endowment funds with a beginning gift of $100,000. Such funds, which may be named as memorial or honorary gifts, may be designated for any of the following areas:
• Art acquisitions
• Art conservation
• Interpretive programs (lectures, symposia, workshops, community events, and more)
• Publications and website development
The need to establish an endowed fund for continued maintenance of the Museum building can be achieved by naming galleries and important areas of the 1973 I. M. Pei architectural landmark and its new addition.
The fifth-floor galleries house the Museum's impressive collection of Asia art. Four perimeter galleries remain to be named; visitors with an interest in Asian art as well as those who appreciate the spectacular views treasure this floor.
Object Study Classrooms
Object study classrooms place faculty and students in first-hand conversations with objects, a valuable experience that complements the way they teach and learn from primary sources in laboratories, textual analysis, and guided research projects. Expanding physical access to works in storage by making a third classroom available to show oversize works of art will allow the Johnson to expand and deepen the curricular role it plays on campus and encourage fluidity between disciplines.