1. Who can rent the Museum facility? 

The Museum is available for rental by Cornell University Departments/Affiliated Groups, business organizations, and private groups. Because the Johnson Museum is a high-security facility, certain restrictions may apply when planning Museum events. Please specify whether your proposed event request is university related or a private function, at the time of reserving Museum space.

2. What areas can be rented within the Museum?

At the Top: The Lynch Conference Room

Crowning this amazing building is the Lynch Conference Room with a commanding view of Cayuga Lake. The room is available for receptions, luncheons, presentations, and dinners. The Lynch Conference Room accommodates up to 65 guests for formal dinners and 120 guests for informal functions. The facility includes kitchen space and restrooms. (Total space: 45 x 30 feet)

Main Lobby Area: The Robert and Helen Appel Lobby

The glass-walled lobby of the Museum is perfect for larger receptions. The two-story ceilings and glass walls create a dramatic open effect that lends elegance to any event. The lobby can accommodate 175 guests. All refreshments must remain in the lobby area during the event. When making this reservation, please indicate weather you wish to reserve any gallery floors for your event.

Open Air: The Sherry and Joel Mallin Sculpture Court

During warmer months, the Museum’s second floor Mallin Sculpture Court is also available for rental. This elegant terrace measures 63 x 29 feet, accommodating up to 130 guests, and can be used for live musical performances or receptions. The sculpture court overlooks Ithaca and Cayuga Lake, and is crowned by the light installation Cosmos. Use of the sculpture court, of course, is dependent on good weather. Dancing is also permissible in this area.

In the Wing: The David A. and Rochelle Hirsch Lecture Lobby and lecture room

The 2011 Museum wing added a flexible lecture room space and a beautiful lobby area overlooking the Morgan Japanese Garden. The Hirsch Lecture Lobby measures 810 square feet, with glass doors opening to the garden, and can host a maximum of 60 guests. The lecture room (1,535 sq. ft.) can also be rented for a variety of special events and meetings. 

Additional Options

The entire Museum can be kept open after hours to allow your guests to browse in the galleries. One thousand guests (1,000) is the maximum attendance for an event when the Museum is rented. Private tours of the Museum’s current exhibitions also can be arranged when making reservations.

Event functions requiring food and refreshments are limited to the Lynch Conference Room, the Appel Lobby, the Mallin Sculpture Court, the Gussman Entrance Hall, and the Hirsch Lecture Lobby/lecture room.

Event functions not requiring food and refreshments may be scheduled for the Lynch Conference Room, the Appel Lobby, the Hirsch Lecture Lobby/lecture room, and certain gallery areas for browsing and guided tours. Gallery floors are 2L, 1L, 1, 2, and 5.

3. How much does it cost to rent?

Rental charges are determined by the event classification: either Cornell University–affiliated events or non-university affiliated events. The duration of event, areas to be used, and participant count are also factors in determining event charges. 

4. What events/capacities can happen in each location?

The Lynch Conference Room (sixth floor)

Sit-down luncheons or dinners: 65 people (max.)
Buffet-style luncheons or dinners: 65 people (max.)
Stand-up receptions: 120 people (max.)
Meetings or lectures: 80 people (max.)
Presentations or small concerts: 80 people (max.)

The Robert and Helen Appel Lobby

Stand-up receptions: 175 people (max.) 

The Mallin Sculpture Court

Stand-up receptions, ceremonies, or dancing: 120 people (max.)
This outdoor space is available, weather permitting, with an alternative space.

The David A. and Rochelle Hirsch Lecture Lobby

Stand-up receptions: 55 people (max.)

Lecture room

Buffet-style luncheons or dinners: 90 people (max.)
Stand-up receptions: 150 people (max.)
Meetings or lectures: 120 people (max.)
Presentations or small concerts: 120 people (max.)

5. Can we schedule a tours during our event? 

Yes! Guided gallery tours are available. Tours are given by members of the Museum education department. Two types of tours available: (1) general tours (variety of galleries), and (2) specific exhibition tours (selected galleries). You can also rent gallery spaces for your group to browse on their own during your special event.

6. What caterers can we use for our event?

Cornell Catering is the exclusive caterer of the Johnson Museum of Art. Explore their website for more information about their services.

7. What parking facilities are available?

Because of limited parking facilities, the Johnson Museum parking spaces are not available for rental functions between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. daily. Parking at our facility is permitted on a first-come, first-served basis after 5:00 p.m. Cornell Transportation Services (607 255-4600) should advise each client on additional parking requests.

8. What are the typical payment arrangements?

Cornell Department transfer of funds, credit card, and check.

9. What room arrangement options do I have?

Numerous options are possible and can be discussed when submitting your client request form.

10. What should I do next?

Decide on possible event date(s), estimate participant count, and special equipment requests. Please contact Holly Fairlie-Smith for additional information.


FAQ updated 16 February 2021