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Cornell University: Johnson Museum of Art

General Information

Facility: Cornell University Johnson Museum of Art
Address: 114 Central Avenue, Ithaca, NY 14853
Phone: (607) 255-6464
Hours: Hours of operation

About the museum:

Opened in 1973, the Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art has offered free admission since opening. The building was designed by I. M. Pei, a Chinese American architect often called the master of modern architecture. The Museum currently has approximately 35,000 items with nearly 22,000 available to view online through their Luna Insight image database.

The Johnson Museum's About page lists Asian art as its first strength, with Japanese art being the second largest of its Asian collections. The museum renovated the I. M. Pei building in 2011, giving the entire fifth floor to the Asian collection. The renovation allowed for space to display Japanese room-sized folding screens, Buddhist art, and objects related to the tea ceremony.

For more information about the Japanese collection, please contact Ellen Avril at 607-254-4509 or by email.


The Luna database, hosted by Cornell University, offers easy access to approximately 22,000 works of art within the Johnson Museum's collection. Digital collections have been organized within the database by museums, libraries, and other archival or cultural heritage repositories around the United States.

Please note: In order to view the Knight Visual Resources Collection, Scholars Resource Collection, Ancient Art and Architecture (Saskia), Utopia Collection, The Amica Library, and Archivision you must be a Cornell faculty, staff, or student.

Selected highlights from the Johnson Museum's multiple collections can be viewed online, including the Japanese Collection as part of the Asian & Pacific Collection.

Summary of Collections

Collection size: as of January 2014

  • Over 8,000 Asia-related items in the Asia & Pacific Collection.
  • Over 1,000 items in the Luna Insight Image Database from the Japanese Collection.
  • The Japanese Collection includes: ceramics from the Jomon and Yayoi Period through today, photographs, sacred paintings and sculpture, folding screens, scroll paintings, and woodblock prints and ukiyo-e (浮世絵).

Notable Collections:

  • Ceramics collection includes ranges from Jomon- and Yayoi-period pieces, to Edo-period tea wares and porcelains, through to contemporary ceramics.
  • Meiji Photographic Collection: a collection of photographs from Japanese and foreign photographers taken during the late-nineteenth century.


Online Resources

The Exhibitions page begins with exhibitions currently on display at the Johnson Museum of Art and also includes information on upcoming and past exhibits, including some exhibits from as far back as 1968.

The page also includes a list of purchasable catalogs from various collections and past exhibitions, including Japanese Paintings from the Henricksen Collection (2005), Japanese Poetry Prints (2006), The Aesthetics of Mended Japanese Ceramics (2008), and more. Pricing for each volume is provided, as well as contact information for other current exhibition catalogs.

The Johnson Museum's online calendar lists all events being hosted by the museum, including workshops, open receptions, artist talks & lectures, and more. The calendar can be browsed by event type or month.

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North American Coordinating Council on Japanese Library Resources
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