In case you haven’t yet heard, admission to the Corcoran Gallery of Art is now free. This comes as part of the museum’s merger with George Washington University and the National Gallery of Art. The bottom line is that it’s great news for those of us who are used to browsing the wonderful collections and exhibits housed in our city’s many museums free of charge.
I took advantage of the new no-fee entry when I found myself with some free time last week while Owen and Sasha were in school. (It was my first visit there in several years, which I’m almost embarrassed to admit!) Usually, I blog about our experiences visiting places together, but I figured if I got enough out of it to know I will go back with my kids very soon, then it was worth posting about, too.
The museum isn’t huge, and it’s quite easy to navigate. Collections include American Art to 1945, European Art, Decorative Art, and Modern and Contemporary collections, where I spent most of my time. There is currently a fantastic exhibit called American Metal: The Art Of Albert Paley (on display through September 28) that I bet would enthrall children just as much as adults. A main part of the exhibit includes models of magnificent metal sculptures Paley created for the St. Louis Zoo and Cleveland Botanical Garden. The intricate designs of animals in various habitats is amazing to view both from afar and up close.
Paley also created the colorful sculpture that you see when you enter National Harbor. Smaller models of that large-scale piece are also featured in the exhibit and are interesting to view if you’ve seen the final work.
There’s plenty more art to see on the museum’s two levels, and the uncrowded, space would make it easy to roam through with children. It’s not large enough to make a visit a full day’s outing, but you can pair it with plan to see the monuments or a walk by the White House. After all, now that it’s free, there’s no pressure to stretch the time to make it worth it.
The Corcoran Gallery of Art is located at 500 17th Street NW. There is a cafe in the lobby, Muse at the Corcoran, with a small menu of wraps and snack. Gallery hours are Wednesday – Sunday, 10am – 5pm. Admission, as noted, is free.