Housed in the restored 1913 Delray Elementary building, the Cornell Museum of Art 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!
Art exhibits rotate every three to four months, are typically themed, and feature contemporary and cutting edge works by regional, national and internationally acclaimed artists.
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, a Museum Store, and the Angelique Tea Room, which is used for classes, receptions and other special events. The second floor, accessible by two grand staircases or an elevator, has three exhibition galleries and the children’s interactive gallery.
The Cornell 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.