David C. Levy, president of the museum, said Wednesday the funds would go toward renovating the Corcoran's 107-year-old building and building a new wing designed by Frank Gehry that will double exhibition space. It also will provide space for Corcoran College of Art + Design, and create an art center for children ages 7 to 11 which Levy described as "an art theme park."
"It will be a place for kids to go through on their own," he said.
Construction is expected to begin in late spring 2006, according the Levy. The museum, noted for its comprehensive collection of American painting as well as French and Dutch paintings and decorative arts, will be closed for about three years. It was established by a bequest from Washington banker William W. Corcoran and chartered by the U.S. Congress in 1870.