Cornell Art Museum
The Cornell Art Museum is housed in the restored 1913 Delray Elementary School building on the Old School Square campus and is one of the surprises that people discover in Delray Beach. Colorful banners on the building hint at the exciting art that lies within and beg visitors to step inside. Then the experience begins!
The Cornell Art Museum strives to show nationally and internationally recognized contemporary artists who create innovative and provocative works of art. Inquisitive visitors enjoy intriguing pieces of artwork while discovering new artists and styles. The Museum exposes the greater Delray Beach and South Florida communities to artwork that is culturally relevant and exciting, hoping to foster creativity and inspire imagination. Museum shows typically begin with a theme and blossom into dynamic group exhibitions that excite visitors from all backgrounds.
The Cornell Museum “is as young and hip as a Wynwood [Miami] gallery…” — Delray Beach magazine, May-June 2015.
Art exhibits rotate every three to four months. Museum hours are Tuesday-Saturday, 10 am-4:30 pm and Sunday, 1-4:30 pm. Admission is a suggested $5 donation.
First Thursday Site Tours (for individuals and small groups; no reservation necessary)
Discover the fascinating story behind Old School Square! Enjoy a slide show of Delray Beach history followed by a walk through the beautifully restored, historic school buildings. This tour, for individuals and small groups, is led by one of our site docents; no reservation is necessary. The tour is offered on the first Thursday each month at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. Tour begins in the Cornell Art Museum. Tickets are $5 at the door.
The Museum was dedicated in 1990 and named in honor of Delray Beach residents Harriet W. and George D. Cornell. The architecture, formally known as “Masonry Vernacular,” makes the building unique in the downtown area. This style was used for several smaller buildings in the Old School Square Historic Arts District. Without the colorful exhibit banners and other signage, one would never guess that the building is actually a museum. During the restoration process, the original atrium and classrooms, which are now exhibition spaces, were restored to preserve the rare Dade County Pine floors, tall windows and open space. The only significant modification to the interior was to open the atrium up to the second floor, allowing for natural light to stream in and provide a more spacious feel.
The first floor houses two large galleries for the main exhibitions and an Art Walk gallery for month-long exhibits of works by local artists. First Friday Art Walk is an open house for all the art galleries in downtown Delray Beach. Also on the first floor is a Museum Store featuring hand crafted art, decor and jewelry by 50 area artists. The second floor, accessible by two grand staircases or an elevator, has four exhibition galleries.
The Cornell Art Museum is located to the south of the Crest Theatre building, and is connected to the Crest Theatre building’s Ocean Breeze Room and portico by a covered loggia.
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Take a virtual tour of the Museum. Our Museum Store has been expanded!