Although museums are founded as durable institutions with long future lives, reports continually surface about museums on the brink or about to close.
For example, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Los Angeles has teetered on the brink of bankruptcy for the past half decade, a situation resolved only recently. (The co-chair of its board was overseeing a series of questionable and ultimately ineffective choices, she simultaneously destroyed her father-in-law’s legacy, The Young and the Restless, with similarly head-scratching choices.)
This time, the museum facing hard times is the storied Corcoran Gallery of Art in Washington. Facing years of trouble, too, many from environmental issues beyond its control (like an endowment shrunk by the stock market problems of 2007-2008), the Corcoran might resolve its issues by merging with two other institutions: sending its collection and building to the Smithsonian Institution and its art school to George Washington University.