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August 20, 2014

As the Corcoran Gallery Dissolves, What's Next for Its Art?

In the wake of Monday's court ruling authorizing the takeover of the Corcoran Gallery of Art by two larger Washington, D.C., institutions, the Los Angeles Times looks at what will happen to the venerable private museum's collection of more than 17,000 objects.

Under the terms of the merger deal with the National Gallery of Art and George Washington University, the National Gallery will get to choose Corcoran pieces to add to its collection. Peggy Loar, the Corcoran's interim director and president, said the larger museum's review is under way and could continue into early 2015.

After making its selections the National Gallery will distribute the remaining works to other art institutions, primarily in Washington. Transferring any piece outside the District will require the approval of the city's attorney general, and the Corcoran will not be allowed to deaccession works.

The Corcoran's 19th-century Beaux-Arts building, to be taken over by the university, will close October 1 for renovations that Ms. Loar said will take at least seven months. It will re-open with reduced exhibition space, but a "legacy gallery" will continue to display works from the Corcoran's collection on a rotating basis.