Thank you for your interest in growing our collection
It means a great deal to us that you are considering the Johnson Museum as the home for your beloved works of art. Our collection spans more than 40,000 works of art, nearly 85% of which was gifted to Cornell University by generous alumni and friends since the Museum’s opening in 1973. With each work considered for acquisition, the Museum follows a formal process to determine the following:
• Does the work fit the Johnson Museum’s long-term collections strategy?
• How can this work be used for teaching across campus?
• Do we have the long-term storage capacity to house this work?
• Do we have the funds on hand to commit to the costs associated with acquiring the work?
Should your artwork be invited to join the Johnson Museum’s permanent collection, it will stand strong among world-class artworks that will delight visitors and will be in service to the education of future Cornellians for generations to come.
Working with the curatorial department
Once you express an interest in gifting a work of art, our curators will ask for the following information:
- Photographs of the work
- Artist’s name or the name of the culture that produced the work
- Date or age of the object
- The medium of the work
- Dimensions, if possible (if framed, the size of the frame is helpful to know)
- Current location of the work
- How you obtained the work
After receiving this information, the curators will assess the works for the collection and be in touch as soon as possible. If the works of art do not align with the Museum’s collecting strategy at this time, we would be happy to make suggestions about other museums or art organizations that might enjoy the opportunity to consider the works.
Supporting the cost of acquisitions and the future preservation of artwork
With our commitment to ensuring that the collection is used actively for teaching, we promise to be careful stewards of your work of art long into the future. To support the sometimes-high cost of acquiring gifts, donors often will choose to make a cash or bequest commitment toward the Johnson Museum’s annual fund or collections care fund to offset these costs and support the future conservation needs of the works they are donating. Should you choose to support the future preservation of your work of art, we welcome having a conversation about how you can help.
We are here to help
Our goal is to make the process of gifting artwork as easy and as enjoyable as possible for you, and we look forward to assisting you along the way. Contact us anytime if you have any questions:
Chief Curator and the Judith H. Stoikov Curator of Asian Art
Director of Development