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