Information and Resources about the Corcoran's Future Plans

June 15, 2012

Statement from the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design (PDF)

General Questions

What are the Corcoran’s plans?

As you may have heard or read in the press, our Board of Trustees has voted to take steps to determine the market value of the Corcoran’s building. This is a decision to gather the information the Trustees need, so they can know whether a sale of the building would be a viable option for the Corcoran to pursue.

After some two years of research and discussion, we have found a way forward for the Corcoran—a way that we believe will at last ensure its long-term stability while bringing the institution to a new level of excellence. We see the opportunity to expand the College and integrate it fully with the Gallery, resulting in a very effective educational organization with an outstanding collection.

Just as the Corcoran moved in 1897 to accommodate its growing collection, one of the clear options now is to consider relocating to a purpose-built, technologically advanced facility that is cost-effective to maintain.

Why is a move being contemplated?

Our plans begin from the understanding that education is the true foundation of everything we do—through our College, collection, and community programs. Our College is thriving, despite space limitations, and is poised for the growth that an outstanding school deserves. Our Trustees and senior staff are committed to making this growth happen. We need to respect financial and physical realities as we move forward. The existing building was not built for multi-purpose use and requires at least $100 million in renovations.

When will a final decision about moving be made?

We are looking into alternate sites for college activities for one of our two campuses, the Seventeenth Street building.  At this point, we are gathering information and contemplating next steps. A detailed timeline is not yet in place, and we will not be moving any classes until a potential new site is identified and developed, a process that will take a great deal of time.

Are there any plans for the Corcoran facility in Georgetown?

Our vital Georgetown campus will continue to operate as it always has, for the foreseeable future.

Where will the new building be?

We are committed to staying in the greater Washington metropolitan area and will consider all options in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia. The Corcoran is committed to the D.C. area with its unmatched museums, internships opportunities, and rich cultural life.

Will the Gallery still be a part of the institution?

If ultimately a decision is made to relocate, we are committed to reconstituting the Corcoran—both the Gallery and the College—in a space that is more flexible and that will allow us to fulfill our mission.

Will the Corcoran de-accession artwork to raise funds for future expansion?

The Corcoran adheres to American Association of Museums guidelines and will continue to adhere to them. The Corcoran will de-accession works only when proceeds are used to enhance our collection consistent with our collection strategy. We will not sell works to finance operations or to fund capital projects.

How will I receive updates?

Updates regarding the status of the Corcoran can be found at the Corcoran website.  As always, Corcoran students, faculty and staff should continue to check their Corcoran emails for updates.


How will this affect academic progress? Will any changes in programs be made?

The Corcoran is first and foremost committed to ensuring the seamless continuity of students’ education.  There is no change in housing, any facilities locations, or any coursework or academic plans for fall 2012, nor for the academic calendar as it currently stands.    

Will this affect tuition or students’ financial aid?

The 2012-2013 tuition and fees schedule was approved by the Board of Trustees in March of this year.  These rates will remain unchanged for the 2012-2013 academic year.  These recent developments will in no way impact students’ financial aid packages for the next academic year.  Please see our Tuition & Fees page for program-specific estimates.

Will students still participate in NEXT at the Corcoran?

NEXT at the Corcoran will still be a part of graduating students’ end-of-year activities, either in our present location, as in the last two years, or in the galleries of our new building.

Will students have studio space at the Corcoran?

Studio space will continue to be dedicated for all upper-class students.

Facilities and Resources

Will there be student housing at the new location?

The College is committed to maintaining housing as part of the Corcoran experience.

Will the College continue to invest in computers and other state-of-the-art technology?

We will continue to maintain and expand computer labs and printing facilities for all students. We will be investing in other equipment as well, including two computer-controlled ceramic kilns due to be installed next year.