Washington’s Corcoran Gallery May Give Up Control of Collection

The exterior of the Corcoran Gallery of Art. Via Corcoran Gallery of Art/Facebook.
The Corcoran Gallery of Art

The Corcoran Gallery of Art

The Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. is considering a plan to form a partnership with the National Gallery of Art and George Washington University under which the struggling institution would cede control of its vaunted collection of some 17,000 works including a first-class group of American paintings.

The arrangement requires the approval of the boards of all three institutions and would ensure that the Corcoran art collection would remain in a public institution. Further, the museum would be able to maintain its iconic Beaux-Arts building as a destination. George Washington University would operate the Corcoran College, with the university assuming ownership of the landmark building including responsibility for expenses. The building is reportedly in need of roughly $100 million of renovation and repairs. The boards of the respective institutions are set to meet in April to approve the plan.

None of this is a surprise,” writes Washington, D.C., writer Tyler Green on  his blog, Modern Art Notes. “The inevitability of the Corcoran’s demise was clear in 2008,” he said, calling the Corcoran “Our MCI, or Enron.”

Eileen Kinsella

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