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Frederic Edwin Church, 'Niagara,' 1857, oil on canvas. National Gallery of Art, Corcoran Collection (Museum Purchase, Gallery Fund). Image courtesy of National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC.

National Gallery of Art lists works chosen from Corcoran collection

WASHINGTON – Earl A. Powell III, director, and Franklin Kelly, deputy director and chief curator, National Gallery of Art (NGA), has announced that 6,430 works of art have been selected initially from more than 17,000 Corcoran works in NGA’s custody to join the nation’s collection of European and American art. As curators continue to review the collection of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, the newly accessioned objects will have an immediate impact across NGA’s collections and will be particularly transformative for its holdings of American art in all media.

From February 6 through May 3, 2015, the National Gallery of Art will present two installations in its West Building: American Masterworks from the Corcoran, 1815–1940 on the main floor and Focus on the Corcoran: Works on Paper, 1860–1990 on the ground floor. An exhibition of photographs from both the Corcoran and NGA collections is scheduled for spring 2016 in the West Building photography galleries.

Beginning in the summer of 2015 and continuing for several months, paintings will be integrated into the American galleries on the main floor of the West Building. This effort will continue into other galleries through 2016, when the East Building galleries reopen. Admission to the National Gallery of Art is free of charge every day of the week.

NGA officials will assist the Trustees of the Corcoran in their distribution of the non-accessioned works to eligible cultural institutions in Washington, D.C., in accordance with the process approved by attorney general of the District of Columbia.

NGA’s plan for exhibitions in the second floor galleries of the Corcoran’s Flagg Building is dependent on GW’s construction schedule. It will take NGA approximately one year to update and refurbish the floors, walls, lighting, and skylights, and to install the first exhibition in the second floor galleries. Boundary Markers: Outliers and Mainstream American Art and Rachel Whiteread are among the shows that are being planned for 2017 and 2018.

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Background: On August 18, 2014, the Corcoran Gallery of Art and Corcoran College of Art + Design, the George Washington University (GW), and the National Gallery of Art received approval from the District of Columbia Superior Court to implement their agreements that were first announced in February 2014. The court’s ruling permits the parties to proceed with the transfer of ownership of the Corcoran’s historic 17th Street building and the College of Art + Design to GW and custody of the art collection to the National Gallery of Art.