Washington's oldest museum, the Corcoran Gallery of Art, is seeking an eleventh hour saviour. The private, non-profit institution is steadily losing money even with the draw of its first-class collection of 17,000 artworks, landmark Beaux-Arts building, and a prime location in the city's tourist hub.
Corcoran's board of trustees are said to be considering a sale of the building, links to another institution or a move from the city.
While most major museums in Washington, D.C., are public and admission is free, the Corcoran has been handicapped by its need to charge admission and a reliance on donations which have drastically declined during the recession. Attendance is hovering around 68,000 in 2012.
A budget shortfall of $7 million is expected this year. The building itself needs an estimated $130 million in renovations.
Founded in 1869, the museum is a major repository of American art and houses a collection of top-notch works by the likes of Winslow Homer, Edward Hopper, John Singer Sargent, and Willem de Kooning as well as European masters such as Monet and Delacroix.
On October 12, the museum announced that "The Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art + Design is in conversation with both the National Gallery of Art and George Washington University."