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Highlights from the Collection: 45 Years at the Johnson

Sunday, July 22, 2018 at 10:00am to 5:00pm

Johnson Museum of Art
Herbert F. Johnson Museum of Art, 114 Central Ave, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA

This exhibition celebrates the forty-fifth anniversary of the Johnson Museum, which opened on May 23, 1973. The building, designed by I. M. Pei and made possible through the generosity of Herbert Fisk Johnson, Class of 1922, emphatically announced Cornell’s ambition to provide a new focus on the visual arts. It liberated founding director Tom Leavitt and his colleagues, notably Martie Young, then a history of art professor and the curator of Asian art, from the physical constraints of the A. D. White House, which housed the first campus art museum in 1953.

The effort to grow the collections and increase research and teaching was led by Leavitt from 1968 to 1991, and from 1992 to 2011 by Frank Robinson, who oversaw a 2011 renovation and expansion. Today the permanent collection has developed in ways both predictable—expanding existing strengths, particularly across Asia—and unexpected, particularly in contemporary art like time-based media. This exhibition offers only a glimpse of its richness and diversity, from pre-Columbian Ecuador and Mexico to new art from around the world. These highlights complement the works on view throughout the Museum.

This exhibition was curated by Stephanie Wiles, the Richard J. Schwartz Director at the Johnson Museum, and is supported in part by the Helen and Robert J. Appel Exhibition Endowment.

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Johnson Museum of Art




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