So I feel dumb.
Doing my usual check for updates on the Detroit bankruptcy situation, and its impact on my beloved Detroit Institute of Arts, there was some story linking the DIA's troubles to a Delaware art museum, and the Corcoran in DC. 'What's up with the Corcoran,' I asked.
Turns out it is no more. Inept management, obscene money troubles, and -- poof. Gone to be absorbed by the National Gallery and GWU, with remainder pieces sent God-knows-where. How did I not know this?
The End of the Corcoran
Well, fuck. We were supposed to go there last Christmas, only I fucked up the dates, and we'd missed the window for the one day we could have gone. I was kicking myself then, but figured that it was reason enough to go back to the city. And now the museum itself is gone.
The primo pieces will end up in the National Gallery, which is good and proper, but... something will be lost. The Corcoran wasn't the National Gallery, by design.
Specifically, I was looking forward to seeing the collection of Old Man Clark's, which is stupendous. Now it'll be mixed in with the Mellons and whomever down the street, and not its own thing. In terms of art appreciation, that's great, but from a historical perspective, not at all.
I'd just finished reading Empty Mansions, a bio on the recluse daughter of Old Man Clark's, Huguette Clark. Completely fascinating. And it only pumped up my expectations for the Old Man's collection, knowing that it was just stuff in his house (he could have done the Frick thing, and it would have been better than the Frick, but dammit if he didn't want anyone trudging through his palace once he'd died, even his wife -- tear that fucker down!).
And NOW, knowing how the Corcoran had pumped Huguette (and the lesser Clarks) for cash infusions, only to have the place disappear, and at the expense of creating OTHER art institutions like the daughter wanted... Well.
Infuriating on so many levels. How does this HAPPEN? Overexpansion gets so many of these places, it seems. I have to see if that's what happened here -- but not even Teh Wiki is updated on this.