Johnson Museum Of Art

114 Central Avenue

About Us
The Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art is located on the Cornell campus in Ithaca, New York. It houses Cornell's art collection, which was begun in the 1880s by Cornell's first president, Andrew Dickson White.

In 1973, the Museum moved into its present building, designed by I. M. Pei; it is a small masterpiece, with stunning views of Cayuga Lake, the campus, and Ithaca.

Herbert F. Johnson, a graduate of Cornell's Class of 1922, was chairman of S.C. Johnson & Sons of Racine, Wisconsin, and a lifelong enthusiast of art and great architecture.

The Johnson Museum has one of the finest collections of art in New York State and is recognized as one of the most important university museums in the country. Metered parking is available adjacent to the building, which is located on the corner of Central and University Avenues. The building is available for rental for special occasions; priority is given to Cornell events.

The permanent collection consists of more than 30,000 works of art. Aside from the outstanding Asian collection, its greatest strength is in European and American prints, drawings, and photographs, presenting the history of graphic art from the fifteenth century to the present, American painting and sculpture, European art from ancient Greece to the present, African sculpture and textiles, and pre-Columbian sculpture and ceramics are also well represented. We are in the process of digitizing the entire collection to make it available online for study and research.


The mission of the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, Cornell University, is derived from that of Cornell University itself; that is, the Museum’s purpose is profoundly educational, and education is the context for all its activities. In particular, the Museum preserves, acquires, displays, and interprets works of art of quality, in the broadest sense of the term and in their most relevant cultural, historical, and social context, to further the educational goals of the students of Cornell University, area schoolchildren, and the general public.

Recent News

Exhibition - Huang Hsin-Chien: The Inheritance

Huang Hsin-chien’s installation combines everyday objects with real-time video and virtual stereoscopic computer-generated animation to explore memory, dreams, and what lies beneath the surface of consciousness. In a space configured to evoke an in…

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Exhibition - ‘So It Goes’: Drawings By Kurt Vonnegut

Known for his insightful novels, Kurt Vonnegut (1922–2007) also created many drawings, often applying the same acerbic humor he used so effectively in his writing. The Johnson Museum is proud to present the first museum exhibition of these drawings…

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Exhibition - Cuts: Video Works By Gordon Matta-Clark

The son of the Chilean surrealist Roberto Matta and Anne Clark, and a godson of Marcel Duchamp, Gordon Robert Matta-Echaurren studied architecture at Cornell from 1962 to 1968, spending a year at the Sorbonne in Paris studying French literature. In 1…

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Exhibition - The City: Works From The Collection

With a renewed commitment to photography at the Johnson, we present another in a recent series of thematic exhibitions drawn predominantly from the photography collection. While Staged, Performed, Manipulated investigated the constructedness of pho…

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Exhibition - Beyond Earth Art

Food-Water-Life/Lucy+Jorge Orta Food-Water-Life/Lucy+Jorge Orta is presented at the Johnson Museum as part of the beyond earth art project. Organized by the Tufts University Art Gallery, it is the first comprehensive exhibition of work by Lucy + Jorg…

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Exhibition - Beyond Earth Art

In 1969 the legendary Earth Art exhibition took place at Cornell University. A new kind of exhibition, curated by Willoughby Sharp, it presented site-specific installations by nine international artists, scattered around the Cornell campus and the su…

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