GW Corcoran School of the Arts and Design Acquires Works of Art from Former Corcoran Gallery Collection

Sculptures, Prints and Photographs Among the Numerous Works that Will Serve 
as the Core of the Corcoran Research Collection

'loop' by jennifer steinkamp
'Loop' by Jennifer Steinkamp
May 15, 2018

The Corcoran School of the Arts and Design at the George Washington University acquired hundreds of pieces from the Corcoran Gallery of Art’s permanent collection, laying the foundation for a research collection that will have significant pedagogical value to Corcoran students and also be accessible to the GW community as well as the public.



'Ghost Dance' by Robert Stackhouse

'Ghost Dance' by Robert Stackhouse

Notable pieces gifted to GW include Jennifer Steinkamp’s ‘Loop,’ a vibrant audiovisual work once on display in the Corcoran Rotunda (pictured above); Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller’s ‘The Paradise Institute,” an immersive multimedia experience mimicking a grand, old-style movie palace that was created for the 2001 Venice Biennale; and Robert Stackhouse’s colossal wooden ‘Ghost Dance' (pictured to left). Among the 18 paintings, 642 photographs, 93 prints, 15 sculptures and more are works by Ansel Adams, Eugene Delacroix, Sally Mann, Mary Ellen Mark and William Wegman.


“This collection will be used as a dynamic resource for student learning and to generate public discourse on what these objects say about broader issues,” said Sanjit Sethi, director of the school. “We’re grateful for the opportunity to give artists, scholars, the D.C. community and the broader public the means to truly immerse themselves in these works.”


Sethi would like to be able to show “The Paradise Institute” (pictured below) annually in the newly renovated Corcoran Rotunda. Additionally, the National Gallery of Art, which took custody of the original Corcoran collection, will display some of the works it has acquired in its own “legacy gallery” on the second floor of the Flagg Building.


'the paradise institute'
'The Paradise Institute' by Janet Cardiff & George Bures Miller


Much of the collection the school will receive is related to the history of the Corcoran and of founder William Wilson Corcoran, including a large oil portrait by William Stone, a series of photographs of the Flagg Building in the 1970s by Paul Kennedy and the original silver and ivory trowel used to lay the landmark building’s cornerstone in the late 19th century.


“Artistic images, pictorials, landscapes, narratives and journalistic works by both artists and photojournalists,” said Kym Rice, Corcoran Assistant Director for Academic Affairs. “In that sense it really mirrors the breadth of what we teach here. There are some very exciting things in it that will be cool for us to have and it will be a really rich collection for study.”


Sethi also hopes the new collection will enable interdisciplinary collaboration by students and faculty not just within the Corcoran School, but across GW from American Studies to Anthropology…and beyond. The university’s established art programs, including the museum and the Luther W. Brady Art Gallery, will have the opportunity for collaborative exhibits, while academic departments will be able to use the pieces as archival and teaching resources.


A complete list of works coming to the Corcoran can be seen here:


For media inquiries, please contact Amelia Thompson at [email protected] or Maralee Csellar at [email protected]