GW, National Gallery of Art to Take Over Corcoran Gallery

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    WASHINGTON - AUGUST 30: The Corcoran Gallery of Art is shown August 30, 2006 in Washington DC. (Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images)

    A proposal to place the Corcoran Gallery of Art under the ownership of George Washington University and the National Gallery of Art was announced Wednesday.

    Under the collaboration, the gallery would be renamed Corcoran Contemporary, National Gallery of Art. It would be utilized by GW as the Corcoran College of Art and Design. The plans have GW assuming the ownership of the 17th Street art gallery.

    The National Gallery would maintain a Corcoran Legacy Gallery within the building.

    The announcement comes after five years of negotiations between GW, the Corcoran and the National Gallery of Art.

    According to the New York Times, the gallery is currently running a deficit of more than $2 million, with nearly $3 million in bank debt and a shrinking endowment.

    The gallery's building was constructed more than 145 years ago, and houses a prominent collection including works of Rembrandt Peale, Edward Hopper, Pablo Picasso and Claude Monet.

    If and when the proposal is approved in April, the museum -- now with a $10 entrance fee -- will become free to visit.

    "The Corcoran's legacy is an incredible gift that will now stay in Washington, DC in perpetuity thanks to you and your unwavering support," wrote Corcoran Interim Director and President Peggy Loar in a letter to patrons Wednesday.