Council To Receive Artwork Deaccessioned from the Corcoran Art Gallery

Today, it was announced that the Council of the District of Columbia would be one of just twenty-two institutions to receive artwork being deaccessioned by the Corcoran Art Gallery.

The Council joins institutions such as the Phillips Collection, the National Museum of Women in the Arts, Howard University, the Supreme Court, and others in being chosen by the Corcoran Board of Trustees as an art recipient. The Corcoran’s Board had committed itself to keeping the Gallery’s former art in the District, and in fact, 99.4 percent of the Corcoran’s former collection will remain here in DC.

After the National Gallery of Art chose to accession 8,631 of the former Corcoran works, the remaining over 10,750 Corcoran works were potentially available for distribution to other District institutions. A careful perusal of these works by Council staff indicated that approximately 200 were thematically relevant to the District of Columbia. The Council’s request was narrowed to the most interesting third, and of that third, the Council was selected to receive 17 works (see images below).

The vast majority of the District-related works at the Corcoran were photographs, and this is reflected in the works the Council requested and will receive. Included in the works the Council will receive are one photograph by Tipper Gore, eight photographs by 40-year Washington Post photographer and native Washingtonian Arthur Ellis, one photograph by former National Geographic photographer Clifton Adams, one by the late local/Thai photographer Oi Veerasarn, one by current DC-based photographer John Gossage, and a photograph of former Washington Star political cartoonist and statehood advocate Clifford Berryman.

While the works received are generally smaller in scale and scope, they each lend some insight into diverse aspects of life in the District of Columbia.

In the coming weeks, the Council will share news of two additional works we will be receiving via loan from another Corcoran art recipient.

The works acquired by the Council from the Corcoran will join the existing Council art collection, which includes iconic portraits of John A. Wilson and Alexander “Boss” Shepherd, photo portraits of Walter Washington and Sterling Tucker, our World War I and II memorials, a sculpture of Washington Star publisher Crosby Stuart Noyes, and others.