FAQs About Renovating Johnson’s Icon

How will the renovation affect access to the museum?
You can still visit the first-floor galleries of the museum, but the second floor-galleries will be closed to the public. You’ll be invited to experience the new gallery spaces in summer of 2019.

When does construction begin?
The building enhancement project will begin in October 2018.

What’s changing?
Renovations to the museum’s second-floor galleries will begin in October 2018. Once completed, the galleries will feature a new layout that will offer you a more enriching experience, amplifying the vision and legacy of our founder while expanding the footprint of our special exhibition galleries. In addition to the updates to the interior, the museum will also undergo improvements to the main entrance, making it easier for you to access our building and plaza.

If you’re a photography lover, here’s a more behind-the-scenes scoop for you—we have been working on the construction of a new climate-controlled storage vault for the safe storage of the museum’s photography collection. This preservation project will nearly double the size of our photography vault, allowing for decades of continued growth to our collection!

Why is the renovation happening now?
The renovation and reinstallation are part of our long-term strategy to expand the way you experience the wonder of American art. Our galleries have not changed since 2001; since then, we’ve added over 4,000 objects to our permanent collection and broadened the diversity of American creativity that we display on our walls. In addition, 2021 will mark our sixtieth anniversary. Now feels like the right time to reimagine our gallery spaces to make them more engaging and enriching for you.

When will the renovation be complete?
The renovation is scheduled for completion in summer 2019.

How can we get updates?
We will continue to keep members and the public up to date on key project milestones online at cartermuseum.org/building, as well as through emails, social media, media stories, and blogs.

How will the renovation serve the community?
Our new gallery spaces will allow us to present our permanent collection and special exhibitions in new and dynamic ways. You can expect to see old favorites displayed with new acquisitions, rarely seen works on paper, and exciting loans from across the country.

While we’re working on the inside, we will also be working to improve our main entrance, adding increased accessibility to our building and plaza by incorporating ramps into our exterior design.

Why are you undergoing construction again?
Advancements in technology that aid in the preservation and display of artworks have increased since the museum’s expansion eighteen years ago. The renovation also provides the opportunity to create additional safety measures for the collection and to enhance the ways you connect with the collection.

Will you be impacting the integrity of Philip Johnson’s design?
The vision of Philip Johnson has been a significant factor in the planning process and will be maintained throughout the renovation.

Will you be removing the lawn/bowl during the renovations?
At this time there are no plans to alter the lawn.


What can we see during construction?
The first floor of the museum will remain open, including our gallery spaces, the atrium with Gabriel Dawe’s Plexus no. 34 installation, the Museum Store, and the Library. Check our exhibitions page for more details about what’s on view at the time of your visit.

What is happening to the art while the galleries are closed?
Most of the works of art will be safely placed in storage, while some will go on loan.

Will there be any exhibitions on view?
Yes, highlights of the collection will be shown in the museum’s original 1961 gallery spaces during the renovation. This gives you the unique opportunity to experience the collection’s diverse masterpieces and highlights of the collection in the
original building.

Will my favorite work be on view while you’re closed?
We understand that it’s easy to play favorites. You can check to see if yours in on view by searching our online database.


Will museum hours stay the same?
Yes, museum hours are still the same. Please check our visit page for details.

Will you still offer programs and events?
The museum will continue to offer experiences for our visitors and will be updating the website with additional information on events. We’ll also be coming to you, bringing the museum experience into the community with dedicated staff for community partnerships.

How will the museum continue to serve its members?
Regular member programming will continue during this period, both at
the museum and at off-site venues. In addition, members will receive regular
updates on the construction progress and special opportunities to learn more
about the reinstallation.

Will school tours be available?
Yes, we are continuing to offer school tours on a limited basis. Please contact our gallery teachers for more information: schooltours@cartermuseum.org.