Photo by John Wadsworth

Private Events

Private Event Rentals

By day, diffused light from the Museum’s 40-foot-tall serpentine glass façade warms and brightens these pristine spaces, which spill out onto a landscaped terrace. At night, the glass wall is lit from within, adding to the glamour of the mostly white interior. It is the setting for important art that will fascinate your guests, including a glorious Dale Chihuly chandelier.

Our spacious Rotunda and Sculpture Court provide a spectacular setting for a wide variety of intimate events, including receptions, private parties, meetings, corporate gatherings, even bridal portraits, all surrounded by magnificent works of art.

Hosting an event

The Barry Art Museum is now accepting event requests and appointments for private Portrait photography for Museum Members. Please see our Photography page for more details on scheduling professional photoshoots at the Museum.

The Barry Art Museum is following the State of Virginia guidelines and the ODU Environmental Health and Safety policies for the COVID-19 pandemic. Please understand that these guidelines and policies are in flux and may change as required for the safety of our visitors, students, and staff.

  • Unvaccinated BAM staff and visitors are required to wear masks.

*ODU Departments and Student Organizations: The Barry Art Museum is a separate Foundation and is considered off-campus. Off-campus locations are not covered by the University’s insurance. Insurance must be obtained before renting the Museum.

Please contact the ODU Office of Risk Management for securing insurance coverage.


Capacity subject to change based on current exhibition and room setup

Private Event Setup at Barry Art Museum Photo by John Wadsworth

1. First floor Sculpture Court (2 galleries)

  • 80 guests for a seated dinner
  • 100 guests for a standing reception
Private Event Setup at Barry Art Museum Photo by John Wadsworth

2. First and Second floors (4 galleries)

No food and beverages allowed on Second Floor
  • 80 guests for a seated dinner (dinner first floor only)
  • 150 guests for a standing reception
Table setup on Terrace For Private Event at The Barry Art Museum Photo by John Wadsworth

3. Terrace (outdoors)

Available only when reserved in addition with First floor Sculpture Court
  • 50 guests for standing reception
  • Dance floor and tenting available for additional fee
Private Event in The Barry Art Museum Photo by John Wadsworth

4. Second Floor Lobby with Wall Monitor/Podium

Lecture, Meeting, or Presentations
  • 50 guests for seated or standing

Details :

The Museum closes to the general public at 5:00 PM.
Standard rental times are between 4:00 PM and 10:00 PM, with doors opening for event guests at 5:30 PM.


What does the rental fee cover?

The rental fee covers the facility and all necessary event staffing.

Our fees are based on a total number of hours for the event. For example, a total of 6-hours is broken down to 1 hour and 30 minutes load in, a 3-hour event, and 1 hour and 30 minutes load out. Included in the rental fee is event staff comprised of Housekeeping, Security, Special Events Manager, and Gallery Hosts. Rates will be furnished at the time of the request.

ODU Departments & Affiliates will receive a discounted rate and will be charged to the ODU Department Budget code.

wePhoto by John Wadsworth
Is catering provided by Barry Art Museum?

No, you will be able to choose from a list of preferred caterers who will be glad to assist you with tables, chairs, linens, plates, silverware, ABC license, and bar service. Only the preferred caterers may be used in the Museum.

May I bring my own Flowers?

No, you will be able to choose from the list of preferred florists. They are knowledgeable of the Museum’s policy regarding the hazards of introducing insects into the Museum through floral arrangements.

Will there be a contact person on-site during my event?

Yes, a Special Events Manager and the event staff will be present for your entire event.

What is Liability Insurance?

Liability Insurance is a short-term special events insurance coverage. The client agrees to defend, indemnify and hold harmless the Barry Art Museum, Old Dominion University (ODU) Museum Foundation, ODU, their Board of Directors, officers, employees, and agents from and against all claims, suits, damages, costs and expenses arising from liability or loss for injury or death to persons or damages to property caused by any act or omission unless such an act or omission is due to the sole negligence of the Museum. The insurance must be with an insurance company licensed to do business in the state of Virginia. The insurance is required prior to the event. For more information regarding the liability insurance, please refer to the rental contract.

ODU Departments and ODU Student Organizations, please contact the Old Dominion University Office of Risk Management for securing insurance coverage.

Thank you for including the Barry Art Museum in your plans.