Corcoran Gallery proposal to partner with National Gallery and GWU

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - A new proposal will partner the Corcoran Gallery and the Corcoran College of Art and Design with the National Gallery and George Washington University.

It's considered one of the top ten art collections in the country. Just the American works alone include Edward Hopper, Aaron Douglas, John Singer Sargent, Remington, Gilbert Stuart and the iconic Rembrandt Peale.

But there are challenges with the proposal. While the beloved 145 year old institution remains a popular D.C. destination, it has faced controversy in the past. It also continues to deal with debt and is in need of an estimated $100 million in upgrades and repairs

To save the collection, the college and the historic building - Director Peggy Loar calls the partnership an opportunity.

"We know that it will be very well taken care of from a collections management point of view," explained Loar, Director & President, Corcoran Gallery & College of Art & Design. "Conservation, exhibition, digitizing the collection and putting it out there for the public to have more familiarity with it."

But a Washington Post critic Thursday called the proposal a 'dismemberment' of the collection.

The two men helping lead the proposal though insist this isn't doing away with the beloved Corcoran Gallery but expanding its reach while keeping it in Washington.

"We'll display it with distinction and honor and I think it will be used very effectively and very beautifully," said Earl Powell, Director, National Gallery of Art.

"I think this is a great plan for preserving the collection, giving it to an excellent institution's care," said Steven Knapp, George Washington University President. "While at the same time we can raise the level of the arts education thats been an intimate part of this great institution."