WASHINGTON, Aug. 18 (UPI) -- A judge approved a merger Monday between the Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington and the National Gallery.
Under the plan advocated by the Corcoran's board and its chairman, Harry F. Hopper III, George Washington University would take over management of the The Corcoran College of Art and Design. While Hopper and his supporters said the proposal is the best hope of keeping the Corcoran's mission alive, a group of students and faculty tried to block it.
"This court finds it painful to issue an order that effectively dissolves the Corcoran as an independent entity," Superior Court Judge Robert Okun wrote. "But this court would find it even more painful to deny the relief requested and allow the Corcoran to face its likely demise -- the likely dissolution of the college, the closing of the gallery, and the dispersal of the gallery's entire collection."
The Corcoran -- the oldest private museum in Washington -- was founded in the mid-19th century by William Wilson Corcoran, a Washington banker. At the end of the century, the Corcoran moved into its current building, a Beaux Arts landmark designed by Ernest Flagg.
Okun ruled that Corcoran's original deed of trust could be revised to merge the museum and art school.