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Amor Caritas Outside the Corcoran Museum at NightCorcoran Museum at Night

Art and Artifice

Corcoran Art Gallery

500 Seventeenth St NW
Washington, D.C., DC 20006
(202) 639-1800



Corcoran Art Gallery

This stately old museum disbursed its art collection to other venues when it closed in 2014. Not financed like the other area museums, and not near a close Metro station, the structure struggled to maintain itself in the high cost world of DC tourism and cultural institutions. Though it is no longer a place where its now vanished collection can be looked upon, the building remains, facing across to the White House South Lawn.

The Art School still functions, now merged with George Washington University: GWU Art School Website

Corcoran Art Gallery

Corcoran Art Gallery Merging with NGA - 2014

Oct 2014: The Corcoran Art Gallery (which was originally in the building which is now the Renwick Gallery just a few blocks away in Washington DC), has been forced by finances to merge with the National Gallery of Art. The Corcoran is also merging its long-running art program (The Corcoran College of Art and Design) with George Washington University.

“It’s quite a relief because the alternative was too painful to consider,” said Peggy Loar, interim director and president of the Corcoran. “Because of the timing of all this, we didn’t have the luxury of waiting.”

In the next few years, Corcoran students will pay the same tuition and take similar classes from many of the same professors, albeit under GWU management. New curriculums, higher prices and closer integration with the university are likely to be phased in over time.

Meanwhile, curators from the National Gallery of Art (NGA) and the Corcoran will continue taking inventory and planning for transferring the 17,000 artworks.

“I realize it’s come out of a long, complicated and difficult time in history,” said Earl A. “Rusty” Powell III, director of the National Gallery. “I think the solution saves the collection for Washington." Quotes form Washington Post Story

The Corcoran has always been in the tough spot among Washington's art museums. Unlike the various museums along the National Mall, or the National Portrait Gallery or the Phillips Collection, there's no nearby subway stop, nor adequate parking for the Corcoran.

To go to the Corcoran, you must take a bus, cab or possibly do a long walk. Surrounded mostly by Federal Government office buildings, the parking situation was always worse during the Washington DC work week, and particularly during the winter, the museum's location near the vast President's Park and the Presidential Ellipse (basically enormous open parklands) meant for the tourist (and potential visitor) a long trudge in the cold air.

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Corcoran Art Gallery


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Original page Nov 2014 | Updated November 2020
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