In 1976, under President Jack Critchfield, Rollins embarked on plans for the creation of a new art center. With a generous contribution from George D. (Class of 1935) and Harriet Cornell (honorary Class of 1935), the College was able to expand the Morse Gallery and add a much-needed new building for the Department of Art equipped for painting, sculpture, printmaking, photography, and audio visual presentations. The Cornell Fine Arts Museum (CFAM), which has a lovely view across Lake Virginia from its back patio, was dedicated in January 1978.
In making the major gift, the Cornell's stipulated that the building be in keeping with the Spanish-Mediterranean style of the campus. At the dedication ceremony, President Critchfield called George Cornell’s lifelong interest in the arts an exemplification of the importance of a liberal arts education.
On January 20, 2006 the Cornell Fine Arts Museum reopened its doors to the public after an 18-month, $4.5 million renovation. The new building, with six display galleries, a print study room, and an educational gallery has much more space, but CFAM retains the special, intimate character that visitors love.
While the Cornell Fine Arts Museum has always played a vital role in the community, the past decade has reflected extraordinary growth as notable works from the collection have been publicly viewed for the first time, and more than 700 new works have been acquired by donation or purchase.
Learn more about the collection