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 70 guests for formal dinners and 130 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 200 guests. Rental of this area also includes the two lower gallery floors (1L and 2L) for viewing exhibits. However, all refreshments must remain in the lobby area during the event. When making reservations for this area, please indicate weather you wish to use the lower two 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 150 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 100 guests. The lecture room (1,535 sq. ft.) can also be rented for a variety of special events and meetings. These spaces are connected to Floor 2L in the main building. Restrooms are one floor below.

Additional Options

For an extra-special event, the main Museum building 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 main Museum building 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, 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: 70 people (max.)
Buffet-style luncheons or dinners: 64 people (max.)
Stand-up receptions: 130 people (max.)
Meetings or lectures: 80 people (max.)
Presentations or small concerts: 80 people (max.)

Main Museum building

(includes the Lynch Conference Room, the Appel Lobby, and all five gallery floors):
1,000 people (max.)

The Robert and Helen Appel Lobby

Stand-up receptions: 200 people (max.)

The Appel Lobby and The Lynch Conference Room (sixth floor)

Stand-up receptions: 350 people (max.)

The Mallin Sculpture Court

Stand-up receptions, ceremonies, or dancing: 150 people (max.)
This outdoor space is available, weather permitting, with an alternative space being the Appel Lobby. This space can be rented alone or in conjunction with other spaces.

The David A. and Rochelle Hirsch Lecture Lobby

Stand-up receptions: 100 people (max.)

Lecture room

Buffet-style luncheons or dinners: 80 people (max.)
Stand-up receptions: 150 people (max.)
Meetings or lectures: 150 people (max.)
Presentations or small concerts: 150 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 a gallery space 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 after 5:00 p.m. Special daytime parking arrangements can be made by contacting Cornell Transportation Services at 607 255-4600.

8. What are the typical payment arrangements?

For Cornell departments, remit payment via university journal voucher. Provide the account and object code at event confirmation to the Johnson Museum. For non-Cornell groups, prepayment of estimated event charges must be received prior to the actual event. All checks must be made out to Cornell University.

9. What chair and table options do I have?

Executive style arm chairs are available for use:
Rectangular conference tables: seating 8 people (max.) (8 ft. long x 3 ft. wide)
Round circular conference tables: seating 7 people (max.) (5 ft. round tables)

10. What room arrangement options do I have?

Numerous options are available and can be discussed with the Chief of Security and Special Events.

11. What should I do next?

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