In a surprise announcement, the financially troubled Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington has entered into an agreement to be taken over by the National Gallery of Art and
. The deal, announced on Wednesday, would mark the largest takeover of an arts institution in the nation's capital in recent memory.
The Corcoran, which is a private, nonprofit organization, has experienced financial difficulties for years and had recently explored a potential partnership with the
Under the deal, which must still be approved by the Corcoran's board, the National Gallery would assume responsibility for the Corcoran Gallery's 17,000-piece collection with the expectation that it will eventually accession, or acquire, the bulk of it.
George Washington University would take over responsibility of the Corcoran building, which is located near the White House in downtown Washington. The university will also absorb the Corcoran College of Art + Design, a private institution with facilities in downtown and in Georgetown.
"This coalition among our three institutions will open important new possibilities for
She separately told the
The Corcoran, which first opened to the public in 1897, has long experienced financial difficulties. In recent years the organization had explored leaving its Beaux-Arts building and moving to the suburbs.
Under the terms of the newest deal, the Corcoran would remain a nonprofit institution. Admission will be free, marking a departure from the Corcoran's current policy of charging $10 for a general adult admission.