Letter to the Corcoran Community, by Harry Hopper

Dear Corcoran Community,

On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I take great pleasure in sharing with you the news of an integral group of decisions approved at the board meeting today. Together, these decisions move us forward dramatically toward a sustainable future for both the Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Corcoran College of Art + Design.

1) We have approved a Memorandum of Understanding with the University of Maryland. This document opens the way to develop a permanent partnership sought by both institutions.

2) We have completed an agreement of unprecedented scope with the National Gallery of Art, under which the Corcoran will exhibit works of modern and contemporary art from the National Gallery’s collection during the three-year period when the East Building is under renovation.

3) We have appointed museologist Peggy Loar as Consulting Director of the Corcoran. Ms. Loar brings exceptional skills and experience to this position, having served as director of the Smithsonian Institution’s Traveling Exhibition Series, the first program director of the Institute of Museum Services, the founding director of the Wolfsonian Museum and Research Center and, most recently, the director of the National Museum of Qatar.

Fred Bollerer, who has so ably steered this institution through a period of financial risk, and who graciously extended his contract with the Corcoran at the board’s request, twice deferring his planned retirement, has kindly agreed to assist the transition as Peggy Loar moves into her new role.

4) We have adopted a Strategic Framework for a New Corcoran. It calls for the Corcoran to:

- focus on Contemporary Art, American Art, and Design

- build on a recognized commitment to community engagement; and

- develop an ability to address the cultural, social, economic and political issues of our day.

Initiatives specified in the Strategic Framework include reviving the Corcoran Biennial; extending the impact of the College by partnering with a leading local university; and working more broadly and deeply with partners in the Washington area to bring contemporary art into political and social discussion and debate.

All of these developments come in the context of an upswing in fundraising. Having successfully reorganized our development office in autumn 2012, we have experienced renewed engagement from donors and patrons including members, young professionals of the 1869 Society, corporations, and Trustees.

For the last two years, the Corcoran Board has grappled with some very difficult tasks. We are incredibly thankful for the commitment of our alumni, and look forward to sharing an extraordinary future with you.

You can read more about the Corcoran’s future by clicking here.



Harry Hopper

Chairman, Board of Trustees


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