Saying Goodbye: Corcoran Gallery of Art

Corcoran Gallery 01

After almost 150 years, the Corcoran Gallery of Art will be closing its doors to the public.  Financial difficulties could not be resolved and a major institution will disappear.

Corcoran Gallery 02

The collection, focusing on American art, will be broken up and scattered to other locations.  The National Gallery of Art will assume responsibility for the majority of the works, but it is unlikely that the permanent displays now in the Corcoran will ever be seen together again.

Corcoran Gallery 03

Sunday, September 28th will be the last day before it closes to begin a renovation that will take about a year.

Corcoran Gallery 07

It is expected that the building will be re-opened in the fall of 2015 but the exhibit space will be slimmed down to a so-called “Legacy Collection.”

Corcoran Gallery 06

Much of the current exhibit space will be used for an expansion of the Corcoran School of Art which will be managed by George Washington University.

Corcoran Gallery 08

I wonder what will happen to the Salon Doré, a room created in Paris six years before Thomas Jefferson wrote the  the Declaration of Independence.  The Count  d’Orsay had it constructed as a drawing room for his bride-to-be.  It was purchased in 1904 by William A. Clark for a mansion he was building on 5th Avenue in New York City.  In 1925 Clark donated this room and his art collection to the Corcoran.

Corcoran Gallery 05

The gallery was not crowded today when I visited this morning.  It was hard to walk out the front entrance, knowing I’ll not be here again.


13 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye: Corcoran Gallery of Art

  1. Dear Robin,

    Thanks for the beautiful photos at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. I did not know it was closing. I was there many years ago, but living in Texas, I don’t get to Washington very often.

    Annette Hrkel


    • Thanks for your comments. Hard to say whether this is a sign of the times. I do believe that in this case part of the blame lies with the management. At the same time, the struggle to fund the arts at an appropriate level seems to be a growing challenge. Examples include the current difficulties of the Atlanta Symphony Orchestra with the cuts in salary and benefits to the musicians and cutbacks in staffing and elsewhere. Similarly, the Detroit Art Museum is fighting creditors holding debt from the city who are trying to force the sale of art works belonging to the city’s museum. The model of public funding seems to be under assault in many places. At the same time, there are some bright spots. In the area of private funding (analogous to the Corcoran), there is the example of the Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art in Bentonvile, Arkansas. We were lucky enough to be passing through that town on the day after its official opening. Very impressive. Cities like Seattle and NYC have vibrant public arts programs.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s