Cornell Art Museum
ABOUT THE 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. The Museum strives to show nationally and internationally recognized, contemporary artists who create innovative and provocative works of art. Visitors will 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 Art 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 Museum completed a $1 million interior renovation in November 2017. The first floor houses two large galleries for the main exhibitions and a Spotlight gallery for month-long exhibits of works by local artists. Also on the first floor is the 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 and atrium. 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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The Cornell Art Museum provides accessibility for those who may need mobility assistance.