WASHINGTON (AP).- Washington's Corcoran Gallery of Art is considering moving from its century-old home across from the White House.
The district's oldest private art museum says it is even considering moving outside Washington to suburban Maryland and Virginia. That's because it would cost an estimated $130 million to bring its current home up to modern standards. And there still wouldn't be enough space to display the gallery's collection. The museum currently can only display less than 3 percent of its collection.
The museum's board of trustees voted unanimously Monday afternoon to authorize putting the 1897 Beaux Arts building on the market and seek an alternative location. In addition to the gallery, the building is home to the Corcoran College of Art & Design, which Corcoran officials also want to expand.
In a statement, the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design said:
We recognize that the Corcoran is like most other museums throughout the country in having to struggle with the effects of a difficult economy. Unlike other art museums in Washington, though, we receive no federal funding. We must depend on earned income and fundraisingand our needs are made especially challenging by the high operating costs of a building that is beautiful but antiquated.
After a period of rigorous study assisted by many independent experts in the field, we have concluded that
we have a remarkable opportunity to expand the College and integrate it fully with the Gallery into a very effective educational organization with an outstanding collection
we would be hard-pressed to effect this integration in the existing building, which was not built for multipurpose use and requires at least $100 million in renovations.
So, to move toward a robust and successful future for the Corcoran, we are evaluating all of our options for the building. 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.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.