Impact of National Gallery of Art, East wing closing for 3 years affects the entire art gallery community.
Regular visitors to the National Gallery of Art may be aware that the facility needs some renovation. The only way to make significant structural improvement is to stop the traffic and that means closing the doors.
However, not only will the facility be repaired, it will get a significant expansion.
Implications of the expansion of the National Gallery may weigh on considerations by those operating and governing the Corcoran Gallery and Art School.
Recall that there was great excitement about the Corcoran’s plan to engage World-renown architect Frank Gehry to redesign and add an addition to the gallery. That idea was abandoned creating a wake of disappointment. It also resulted in the resignation of the gallery President David C. Levy who served loyally for 15 years.
Then, the Corcoran board decided to float the idea of selling the property and relocating somewhere else altogether.
“Board of trustees Chairman Harry Hopper III said: “We have been focusing on putting the Corcoran on a long-term, sustainable path. One of the clear options for us to consider is relocating to a purpose-built, technologically advanced, flexible, multipurpose facility that could house an integrated educational operation, with the college at the core, coupled with the [museum] collection.”
It is all about making the institution “sustainable.”
Now, the recent news is that philanthropist and board member, Wayne Reynolds, wants to sell off the art assets and make the institution an exclusive art school because the gallery cannot compete with the free national galleries in the same neighborhood.
“THOUGH UNORTHODOX, the unabashedly public bid by Wayne Reynolds to take over leadership of the troubled Corcoran Gallery of Art cannot and should not be dismissed. The philanthropist has credentials and resources in getting struggling institutions to thrive — as evidenced by his work in turning around Ford’s Theatre. More importantly, he has articulated a much-needed vision for the Corcoran that would bring it into the 21st century while still staying true to the 19th-century charge of its founder.
Observe that the Phillips Collection is doing fine, and that patrons enjoy a more exclusive option.
Now, with the closing of the National Gallery East wing for several years, would that not provide a theoretical boost to the Corcoran for the time being? The Hirshhorn will likely become more crowded than ever, don’t you think?
"National Gallery of Art announces $30 million renovation to East Building
By Katherine Boyle and Lonnae O’Neal Parker, Published: March 12
The National Gallery of Art announced a $30 million renovation on Tuesday that will add more than 12,260 square feet of exhibition space and a rooftop sculpture garden to its East Building.
That renovation will occur at the same time the museum completes an update to its infrastructure, a process that began with the West Building in 1999. East Building galleries will gradually close from July through December and then remain closed for about three years after renovations begin in January.