corcoran_letter
Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr. T in DC

Thanks to a reader for passing on:

“Dear George Washington University,

As the students of the Corcoran College of Art + Design, we’ve seen our community hollowed out. Our faculty, staff and peers, the lifeblood of this institution, are struggling to define their future purposes in the Corcoran as it moves beneath the umbrella of your institution and the National Gallery of Art. Our administration informs us that the Corcoran’s curricula, buildings and the very people that make up our school are at risk for termination – or already dismissed. The future students of the CCA+D may enter a school that in no way resembles our beloved family.

The most important aspect and promise of this institutional agreement is that we function as our own “academic unit within the university’s Columbian College of Arts and Sciences.” The recent news of our entire staff’s termination, the infrastructure and institutional memory of our school, renders that promise moot and physically and spiritually guts our community and mission.

Since March 2013, we have repeatedly asked the Corcoran Director’s Office for a voice in decision-making processes and planning conversations going forward. We have been polite in our requests and made our concerns and priorities clear. Over the course of the last 15 months we have been granted a total of three meetings. It is our conclusion that the Directors’ Office neither listens to, nor represents, our point of view, thus we ask to engage with you directly.

Our appeals are simple and reasonable: honor your original promise. Let us keep the spirit of the Corcoran intact. We define that spirit as an extension of the Corcoran’s mission statement: Dedicated to Art and the Encouragement of American Genius. This occurs daily in our classrooms and galleries; it thrives as a result of our professors’ fostering our artistic abilities; it evolves as a result of interdepartmental collaboration; it is realized by our public exhibitions and our engagement with the global community.

We know and understand that things must change. We envision our small college

thriving within your university and becoming the 21st-Century art school about which you have spoken. Your actions function as an undermining of this very goal, and a destruction of everything that we have built over so many years. You don’t want this. You don’t want to start from scratch. You don’t want a demoralized student body and faculty. We think, as the students who came to this amazing arts school, that you would want all of the energy, the knowledge and legacy to be the foundation of this new and exciting center of the arts.

We realize that concessions must be made, but in order to retain any of the amazing qualities of our college, we require, first and foremost, its people. We require the immediate rehiring of key staff and a commitment for the employment of our faculty matching their commitment at the Corcoran. We require stability for our community outreach programs, including NEXT, ArtReach, Gallery 31, and all existing student organizations. We require intimate and interdisciplinary settings in which to learn from our professors. We require our faculty’s autonomy to create and administer our curricula. And we require a commitment from you to come forth with a plan for a collaborative vision.

Most importantly, these issues need to be addressed publicly and with the highest level of transparency. At all future discussions we need to have a meaningful presence and voice.

We ask for a consistent series of meetings scheduled with a representative student group and GWU representation, including Dean Ben Vinson.

Please add your name in support here.

Sincerely,
The Corcoran Student Body
Corcoran Student Council
Alumni Steering Committee”

4th and D Streets – revised to include “open” loading doors and open framed canopy
Renderings courtesy of Museum of the Bible and SMITHGROUPJJR

Thanks to ANC Rep Rachel Reilly Carroll for sharing a presentation with these new renderings. Museum of the Bible‘s website says:

“Museum of the Bible is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that exists to invite people to engage with the Bible through four primary activities: traveling exhibits of biblical artifacts from The Green Collection, academic research conducted through the Green Scholars Initiative, a yet-to-be-named international museum opening in 2017 in Washington, D.C., and an elective Bible curriculum for high school students.”

and from Wikipedia:

“In July 2012, The Green Collection announced the purchase of the Washington Design Center in D.C. for a reported $50 million to house the as-yet-unnamed national Bible museum. To be located two blocks from the National Mall at 300 D Street SW, near the Federal Center SW Metro station. The museum will reportedly charge admission, as do other private museums in Washington, such as the National Building Museum, the International Spy Museum, and the Newseum.”

museum_of_bible_rendering
4th and D Street, SW

museum_site_plan

More renderings after the jump. (more…)

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Photo of 500 Seventeenth Street, NW by PoPville flickr user Mr. T in DC

From the Corcoran Gallery:

“This summer, join the Corcoran Gallery of Art and College of Art and Design for its Free Summer Saturdays series of programming, including Gallery tours, workshops, demonstrations, and performances. Admission to the museum and to these special programs and workshops is FREE every Saturday between Memorial Day Weekend and Labor Day Weekend. Be inspired by the Corcoran’s permanent collection and special summer exhibitions American Metal: The Art of Albert Paley (June 28—September 28, 2014) and Mark Tribe: Plein Air (July 19—September 28, 2014).”

Trex

From an email:

“To herald the closing of the National Museum of Natural History’s Fossil Hall for a five-year renovation and to celebrate dinosaurs, the Museum is planning a weekend of fossiliferous fun April 26 and 27. The Environmental Film Festival and the National Museum of Natural History will present a free Dino Film Fest on Sat., April 26 from 1 to 7 p.m. at the Museum’s Baird Auditorium. Explore the science behind dinosaurs in classic films, including King Kong, The Valley of Gwangi and The Last Dinosaur with Matthew Carrano, the Museum’s Curator of Dinosauria. He will consider how dinosaurs have been depicted in film and answer questions such as: Did dinosaurs really roar? What color were they? How were T. rex and Allosaurus similar and how were they different? Did T. rex ever battle Triceratops, and, if so, who won? Whether campy or surreal, scary or comical, these films reveal how movie dinosaurs have inspired audiences (including scientists) for the better part of a century.

As part of the celebration the Museum will also show director Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park up close and in 3D! Hailed as “a triumph of special effects artistry” (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times), this epic film, starring Richard Attenborough, Sam Neill, Laura Dern and Jeff Goldblum, visits a remote island where dinosaurs once again roam the Earth and five people must battle to survive among the prehistoric predators. Two special screenings are scheduled for April 26 and April 27 at 7:30 p.m. with discussion of the science behind the film with Matthew Carrano, the Museum’s Director of Dinosauria. Tickets, $15, are here, or by calling 866- 868-7774, or at any Smithsonian IMAX theater box office.”

Faberges Workshop

From a press release:

“With spring finally in full swing, Hillwood’s Fabergé Egg Family Festival celebrates its arrival in traditional Russian style on Saturday, April 12 from 10 am to 5 p.m. and Sunday, April 13 from 1 to 5 p.m. Spring bulbs will be blooming across the estate, with Hillwood-grown pansies bringing an array of color to the Lunar Lawn just in time for this annual family favorite, featuring programs, music, art, and activities for all ages. The Fabergé Egg Family Festival is funded in part by the Bonnie Mapelli Youth Education Fund. All of Hillwood’s 2014 festivals are supported by a grant from the Sally Foss and James Scott Hill Foundation. (more…)

national_building_museum_maze

From the National Building Museum:

“Get lost at the Museum this summer!

The Museum, in partnership with BIG-Bjarke Ingels Group, will create a never-before-seen large-scale maze for the Museum’s historic home. Soaring 18 feet high and measuring 61 feet by 61 feet, the Baltic birch plywood structure will boast a series of twists and turns for visitors to weave through and explore. The “BIG Maze” will be open July 4 to September 1, 2014.

Inspired by ancient labyrinths, garden and hedge mazes of 17th and 18th-century Europe, and modern American corn mazes, this contemporary maze will be located in the West Court of the Museum’s historic Great Hall. In addition to viewing the maze from the ground floor, visitors will also be able to get an unexpected aerial perspective from the Museum’s second- and third-floor balconies.

Bjarke Ingels said of his design: “The concept is simple: as you travel deeper into a maze, your path typically becomes more convoluted. What if we invert this scenario and create a maze that brings clarity and visual understanding upon reaching the heart of the labyrinth?” From outside, the maze’s cube-like form hides the final reveal behind its 18-foot-tall walls. On the inside, the walls slowly descend towards the center which concludes with a grand reveal—a 360 degree understanding of your path in and how to get out.”

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Photo by PoPville flickr user Mr. T in DC

From an email:

“Following the long period of investigation pursued by our Board, I have wonderful news to report. The Corcoran Gallery of Art and Corcoran College of Art and Design, the National Gallery of Art, and the George Washington University (GW) today are announcing a proposed collaboration that would safeguard and increase access to the Corcoran’s iconic collection as a resource for the public in Washington, DC; maintain the historic Corcoran building as the renovated showplace for an important new program of exhibitions of modern and contemporary art; and strengthen and elevate the Corcoran College and its programs. The collaboration would raise the stature of arts education in the District and expand the benefits, services, and interdisciplinary opportunities that both the National Gallery of Art and GW provide to students, museum-goers, and the Washington community.

Our three institutions are now entering a working period to set the definitive terms of a collaboration, under which the Corcoran College of Art and Design would become a part of the George Washington University. GW would operate the College, maintain its distinct identity, and assume ownership of, and responsibility for, the Corcoran building. The National Gallery of Art would organize and present exhibitions of modern and contemporary art within the building under the name Corcoran Contemporary, National Gallery of Art. The National Gallery would also maintain and program a Corcoran Legacy Gallery within the building, displaying a selection of works from the collection that are closely identified with the 17th Street landmark. These and other works of the Corcoran collection would become the responsibility of the National Gallery of Art. Works accessioned by the National Gallery would bear the credit line “Corcoran Collection.” For works not accessioned by the National Gallery, the Corcoran, in consultation with the National Gallery, will develop a distribution policy and program.

As you know, this proposed arrangement among three prominent Washington, DC, institutions comes as the culmination of a five-year effort by the Corcoran’s Board of Trustees to preserve the 17th Street building as both a museum space and a home for the College and to ensure the future of the Corcoran collection as a treasure accessible to all. Due to the challenges faced by the Corcoran, our Board has sought to achieve these goals by exploring collaborations with other cultural and educational institutions.

I want you to know that this coalition among our three institutions will open important new possibilities for Washington, DC. The Corcoran’s great cultural, educational, and civic resources, which are at the heart of this city, will not only remain in Washington but will become stronger, more exciting, and more widely accessible, in a way that stays centered on the Corcoran’s dedication to art and mission of encouraging American genius and opens the galleries to all for free. We are deeply grateful for the bold imagination of the boards of all three institutions for working to make this outcome possible.

Our partner institutions are as thrilled as we are (more…)

From the Museum of Science Fiction:

“In spring 2013, Executive Director Greg Viggiano began speaking with people about creating a museum for science fiction in Washington, DC. The response has been very enthusiastic. Greg quickly found science fiction fans of all stripes that were willing to share their professional talents and time to move the project forward.

Within six short months, a diverse team of 38 volunteers has accomplished key first milestones and worked on a long-term plan for making the museum a reality—making significant progress on everything from curatorial aspects such as gallery design and visitor experience to the non-profit management areas of development, project management, education, information technology, public relations, marketing, finance, accounting, and legal compliance.

We are unified by a shared vision. We want to build a museum, an experience that does justice to the breadth and richness of science fiction history, where we preserve that history in perpetuity and inspire visitors to embrace the genre and its ideas. As a first step, we are developing a 3,000-square-foot preview museum where we can test exhibit concepts and new interactive technologies to share a real-time look into this grassroots effort. We have begun our site selection process. We expect to open the full-scale facility within 24 to 36 months.”

You can see a fundraiser page for the Museum of Science Fiction: Preview Location here.