This is the largest cultural institution in DC that is NOT federally funded. The Corcoran opened in 1869 as a private art gallery. It was then located at 17th and Pennsylvania, which is where the Renwick Gallery (part of the Smithsonian) is located today.
Though the museum likes to trumpet that it is mainly dedicated to American art, its permanent collection has work by some important non-Americans (Picasso, Monet, Degas, Delacroix). In any case.
This is a museum that has had some real problems in the last years. Since it depends on private contribtions (no taxpayer money) there have been serious discussions about moving the museum to a smaller space and real questions about whether it can survive.
Admission is a bit steep ($10) but the museum has some strong collections, I particularly enjoyed some very good photography and sculpture exhibits they have had.
Monday and Tuesday-Closed
...but The Corcoran Gallery of Art is my least favorite of all the ones I have seen in D.C. Even with a display on Frank Lloyd Wright's work, we (the person I was with and myself) were still unimpressed by the collection. All that and it costs $8 to get inside. The only highlight was this one statue whose picture I have displayed (look at the chain...immaculately sculpted out of the stone). Other than that, it was definitely not worth the price of admission. Like I say, the best ones are free.
On a side note, the Corcoran is the biggest non-Federal museum.
The CORCORAN museum has a fine collection of American, Contemporary and European Art.
When I was there earlier this year they had a fine exhibit of Quilts of Gee’s Bend which featured a selection of twentieth-century quilts produced by the African American women of Gee’s Bend, a small, isolated community in southwestern Alabama.
This beautiful building is across the street from the park in front of the White House, and houses D.C.’s oldest museum, focusing on American Masters like Hopper, Homer, and Sargent. There is also a selection of European paintings, as well.
On my last visit I saw the show “Jasper Johns to Jeff Koons”, from the Broad Collection. Fantastic! Lichtensteins, Rauschenbergs, Warhols, etc. Very exciting show, with many large scale pieces, including Jeff Koons’ “Ballon Dog”, Robert Therrien’s “Under the Table” (a table and chairs so big you can walk under it!), and the amazing Anselm Keifer painting “Let a Thousand Flowers Bloom”.
The show later came to Boston so I got to see it again and again.
Wednesday through Monday 10-5, open Thursdays until 9.