Arts Desk

The Corcoran Gallery Is Free Starting Friday

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A court decision earlier this week cleared the way for the dissolution of the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design, with much of the art collection going to the National Gallery of Art and the building and college going to George Washington University. We'll see the first impact of the split beginning tomorrow: When the Corcoran opens for visitors, it'll no longer charge admission.

According to a joint announcement from the three institutions, the split is now official, and some Corcoran works could be displayed at the National Gallery in the coming months.

While the Corcoran College—now the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design within GW’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences—will continue to operate, the museum's galleries will close on Oct. 1 so that the building can undergo renovations. Part of the plan involves the National Gallery programming some of the gallery space. According to the release, "the National Gallery will renovate the second-floor gallery spaces in the Flagg building, which will house the Legacy Gallery of important works from the Corcoran collection, as well as special exhibitions of modern and contemporary art. A date for reopening the gallery will be set in the coming months."

The Corcoran's hours are now Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. You have until the end of September to see "Mark Tribe: Plein Air," "Terra Firma: Landscapes from the Photography and Media Arts Collection," and "American Metal: The Art of Albert Paley"—the last exhibitions planned by an independent Corcoran Gallery. Full release after the jump:

WASHINGTON — The historic agreements between The Corcoran Gallery of Art and Corcoran College of Art and Design, the George Washington University (GW) and the National Gallery of Art are now final. With the completion of today’s transactions, the new partnership to preserve the Corcoran legacy is officially under way.

Visitors to the galleries in the historic Flagg building on 17th Street will no longer be charged admission fees beginning Friday. Hours of operation are now Wednesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

As part of this new collaboration, students, faculty and many Corcoran staff now become part of GW and others join the National Gallery. The University also takes responsibility for the Corcoran's historic 17th Street building and one of the nation's leading art schools, which will now be known as the Corcoran School of the Arts and Design within GW’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.

Custody of the art collection has been transferred to the National Gallery. Curators from the National Gallery and the Corcoran will continue the work they have already begun on the accession and distribution plan, which may take up to a year. Plans to display works from the Corcoran collection at the National Gallery of Art in the coming months are being discussed.

Current gallery space in the 17th Street Flagg building is expected to close Oct. 1. The National Gallery will renovate the second-floor gallery spaces in the Flagg building, which will house the Legacy Gallery of important works from the Corcoran collection, as well as special exhibitions of modern and contemporary art. A date for reopening the gallery will be set in the coming months.

Classes at GW’s Corcoran School of the Arts and Design begin Aug. 27. Students will continue to take classes in the Corcoran buildings and will now have access to GW’s facilities, services and courses on its three campuses.

These inaugural activities, as stated in the February partnership agreements, are just the beginning of the implementation of the agreements, which ensure that the historic building remains a showplace for art and a home for the Corcoran School and its programs, creating a global hub for the arts at GW. These same activities also underscore that the collaboration safeguards the Corcoran’s collection and increases access to the art as a public resource in Washington.

For more information about GW’s Corcoran School of the Arts and Design, please visit corcoran.gwu.edu.

For more information on upcoming exhibitions and programs that will be organized by the National Gallery in the 17th Street building, the community is encouraged to subscribe to the National Gallery’s monthly electronic newsletter at www.nga.gov/subscribe.

Photo by Darrow Montgomery

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  • Andrew

    UGH thanks a lot GW! The Corcoran is ruined!!

    I'm being sarcastic. Maybe this deal isn't the end of the world, after all.

  • Ellen

    What happens to the alum?

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