Tag Archives: Corcoran School of Art + Design

Corcoran Gallery of Art wants to hear from public on relocation

12 Jun

June 11, 2012 — 8:00 PM
by Lisa Farmer for The Examiner

The Corcoran Gallery of Art is holding a string of public meetings — beginning Thursday — on the board of directors’ recent announcement that it is considering selling the museum and moving it out of the District.

“We wanted to show the community is important to us just as the Corcoran is important to the community,” said Rachel Cothran, the gallery’s director of public relations. “This process isn’t just going to be a couple of weeks,” she added. “No decision has been made [on whether to sell the building], and we want this to be open and transparent.”

The museum’s trustees voted last week to explore the feasibility of relocating to a more “cost-effective” facility for the collection and the College of Art + Design, as the institution has been losing money in recent years and leaders say it’s too expensive to stay at their current location. The gallery has been housed in its historic Beaux-Arts building at New York Avenue and 17th Street Northwest since 1897.

Cothran added that the institution might even establish a community board that works directly with the Corcoran.

As a private institution, the gallery is not obliged to hold community meetings for input — but it does make for good public relations. Just 140 miles north in Philadelphia, the Barnes Foundation learned that the hard way when it was sued by museum members and supporters after plans to relocate were made public.

That museum, which was also founded by a wealthy art lover and has the world’s largest collection of Pierre-Auguste Renoir paintings, faced a similar situation as the Corcoran: The foundation wanted a larger building for its collection and educational arts component. The museum moved from the outskirts of Philadelphia into the city and opened its doors three weeks ago.

“It’s traumatic any time you want to change something, especially when people have grown to love it,” said Cara Schneider, a media relations representative for Philadelphia’s tourism bureau.

Thursday’s community meeting will be held at the Corcoran at 6:30 p.m. Future meetings dates are to be determined.


Washington City Paper Reports on Possible Corcoran Gallery of Art Move

5 Jun

Corcoran: “We Need to Respect Financial Realities”

Posted by Jonathan L. Fischer on Jun. 4, 2012 at 6:38 pm

Corcoran Gallery May Sell Building, Move to Alexandria

We reported today that the Corcoran Gallery of Art is considering selling its building at 17th Street and New York Avenue NW. Tonight, the institution released the following statement, which was forwarded to students at the Corcoran College of Art + Design.

Statement from the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design

The Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design is beginning to implement plans to ensure its long-term stability and attain a new level of vitality and excellence. In choosing this direction for the Corcoran, we have responded to the unique opportunities to realize more fully our founding mission of “encouraging American genius.” At the same time, we need to respect financial and physical realities as we move forward.

Our plans begin from the understanding that education is the true foundation of everything we do–through our College, collection, and community programs. Our College is thriving, despite space limitations, and is poised for the growth that an outstanding school deserves. Our Trustees and senior staff are committed to making this growth happen.

At the same time, however, we recognize that the Corcoran is like most other museums throughout the country in having to struggle with the effects of a difficult economy. Unlike other art museums in Washington, though, we receive no federal funding. We must depend on earned income and fundraising–and our needs are made especially challenging by the high operating costs of a building that is beautiful but antiquated.


After a period of rigorous study assisted by many independent experts in the field, we have concluded that
we have a remarkable opportunity to expand the College and integrate it fully with the Gallery into a very effective educational organization with an outstanding collection
we would be hard-pressed to effect this integration in the existing building, which was not built for multi-purpose use and requires at least $100 million in renovations.
So, to move toward a robust and successful future for the Corcoran, we are evaluating all of our options for the building. Just as the Corcoran moved in 1897 to accommodate its growing collection, one of the clear options now is to consider relocating to a purpose-built, technologically advanced facility that is cost-effective to maintain.

In order for the Trustees to decide whether relocation is a viable option, the Corcoran will need to determine the market value of the building. If ultimately a decision is made to relocate, we are committed to reconstituting the Corcoran–both the Gallery and College–in a space that is more flexible and which will allow us to fulfill our mission. We are also committed to maintaining our ongoing College programs throughout any period of change and to staying in the greater Washington metropolitan area, while considering all options in DC, Maryland, and Virginia.

Trustees and senior staff are undertaking an exhaustive review of the options as we move toward decisions that will realize a strong and vibrant future for the Corcoran.

We welcome your thoughts, which can be sent tofeedback@corcoran.org. On behalf of the Board of Trustees, staff, and faculty, we thank you for your support.

Fred Bollerer, Director and President

Harry Hopper, Chairman, Board of Trustees

Image via Wikimedia Commons

MFA’s show “Into the Light” is Gallery Pick of the Week in the Washington Post!

13 Dec