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Art lovers flock to Corcoran Gallery before it closes for renovation and new partnership

A visitor at the Corcoran Gallery of Art. (Photo: WJLA)

WASHINGTON (WJLA) - Visitors to the Corcoran Gallery of Art have quadrupled since admission became free to the public late last month.

With the gallery scheduled to close soon for renovation, art lovers are coming to the gallery in its last month for all kinds of reasons.

After court approval of a controversial plan that ended the Corcoran's independence, the art gallery and its school have merged with the National Gallery of Art and George Washington University.

More than 17,000 art works are involved, including important collections of American, European, and contemporary art.

The National Gallery says it will acquire more than half the Corcoran's holdings. Others will be offered first to Washington institutions, free of charge.

“Certainly the intention from all sides is that the majority, everything if possible, will stay in Washington and be accessible to the public collections,” says Franklin Kelly, Deputy Director of the National Gallery of Art.

Galleries at the Corcoran are expected to open within a year. The exhibition space will be smaller, but will include a "legacy gallery" devoted to holdings from the Corcoran collection. Art works may also travel between the two buildings.

But for now, visitors are coming in to see their favorite works.

The art works will be on view through September 28 when the Corcoran will close for renovation.

When it reopens, it will continue to be free to the public.

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