Corcoran Gallery's proposed merger goes to court

Published on NewsOK Modified: July 18, 2014 at 4:15 pm •  Published: July 18, 2014
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Save the Corcoran has accused the Corcoran's trustees of financial mismanagement. They asked the judge to provide access to 10 years of audited financial records and suggested the current board of trustees should be removed. The group also is seeking a requirement that the entire art collection be kept together.

In a court filing, attorney Andrew Tulumello dismissed the Corcoran's warnings that it could lose its museum accreditation if it sells artworks to continue operating as an independent museum.

"While it is obviously not desirable to fall out of the good graces of the (American Alliance of Museums), when the very life of an institution is at stake, the issue must be considered," Tulumello wrote, adding that museum founder William W. Corcoran would not have elevated museum association membership over "the utter destruction of the institution he created and nurtured."

Despite the opposition, D.C. Attorney General Irvin Nathan is supporting the merger. The attorney general represents the public interest when a court considers major changes to a charity's structure. Nathan also addressed arguments opposing to the Corcoran's merger.

"Save the Corcoran's proposal is a short-term fix that will not alleviate the longer term problems that the Corcoran faces," the attorney general wrote.

Lawyers for the D.C. government concluded the museum's financial situation prevents it from continuing to operate independently. In supporting the merger, the government seeks to require that no art may be distributed outside of D.C. without approval from the District or the court.

The Corcoran was founded in 1869.

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