The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art
We aim to connect people, art, and ideas in creative ways.
Three floors of the Museum are devoted to the permanent collection: Asian art on Floor 5; pre-1800 art on Floor 2; and art from the 19th century to today on Floor 1. The Mallin Sculpture Court on Floor 2, under the Cosmos installation, is open seasonally.
The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art at Cornell University welcomes visitors to experience original works of art across a wide spectrum of global traditions, time periods, and media for education, inspiration, and delight. We connect to the vibrant intellectual and cultural life of Cornell University and a public audience through exhibitions, programs, teaching, and research, with free admission for all.
The Museum opened in 1973. Designed by I. M. Pei & Partners, it is named for benefactor Herbert F. Johnson, a distinguished graduate of Cornell’s Class of 1922, the late president and chairman of S C Johnson of Racine, Wisconsin, and a Cornell University trustee.
Since its beginning the Museum has been open to all without charge. Given Cornell University’s Land Grant status and its mandate to play an important role in the community, the Johnson Museum continually seeks to fulfill its cultural and educational responsibility to serve a broad and diverse audience.
We create direct experiences with art and catalyze interdisciplinary learning, opening new doors to lifelong inquiry and exploration.
Today, the Johnson Museum’s permanent collection numbers 40,000 works, spanning six millennia and encompassing art from most world cultures. Among the strengths of the collection are the holdings of Asian art; prints, drawings, and photographs ranging from the fifteenth century to the present; modern and contemporary painting and sculpture; European art from ancient times to the present; African sculpture and textiles; and pre-Columbian sculpture and ceramics.
The collections are the foundation for all Museum initiatives in teaching, research, and the development of projects to connect people, art, and ideas in creative ways.
Museum Annual Reports (PDFs)
The Johnson Museum joins Cayuga Nature Center, Cornell Botanic Gardens, Cornell Lab of Ornithology, The History Center, Museum of the Earth, Sciencenter, and Tompkins County Public Library on the Discovery Trail. This partnership of educational organizations serving Tompkins County, New York, has a mission to engage the curiosity of residents and visitors through nature, culture, science, and art.