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Disturbing: More News About the Corcoran

JaymeMcLellanAfter I wrote my previous post about the recent details of the deal dismantling the Corcoran Gallery of Art, I received more disturbing news from Jayme McLellan,  of Save the Corcoran, and a former Corcoran College of Art and Design professor. They need no introduction — I’ll just list them, verbatim. McLellan (at right) says:

  • All staff, including curatorial, except faculty were given 90 day notices on Monday.
  • As of Aug. 16th, the Corcoran will have no employees but programming runs until Oct.
  • Lauren Garcia, (Corcoran COO and Harry Hopper’s next door neighbor  – hired w/no prior museum experience) told staff not to put anything negative on social media because they were being watched. “Stay professional, we are watching you and you might not get hired by GW or NGA if you are negative.” ….
  • NGA will not issue contracts to the curatorial staff until Cy Pres [court approval] happens.
  • And David Julyan, Corcoran Chief Counsel, gets paid by the hour.

I did not attempt to verify this with the Corcoran staff. In the past, Save the Corcoran had pretty good information.



  1. Washington is now culturally a socialist city. The Symphony, Opera, and most museums are Federal entities. Any independent organization cannot resist.

  2. Not issuing contracts to the Corcoran curators until the whole deal is approved by a judge is simple prudence, isn’t it?

    I suppose the National Gallery could include a clause stating that the entire contract is null and void if the court fails to grant Cy Pres to the merger deal, but wouldn’t the very necessity of such a clause argue for simply waiting a couple of weeks until it’s certain that the merger can legally take place?

  3. Kenneth Conway says:

    “we are watching,” says Ms. Garcia, the current Corcoran COO.

    Today, everyone knows that that’s true, always, everywhere, of all employers. But isn’t it kind of stupid to actually put that in writing for the entire world to see? Ms. Garcia is practically licking her chops. It’s not pretty.

    I assume that as a manager, Ms. Garcia is not known for having a positive impact on staff morale.

    It will be interesting to see how history judges Ms. Garcia, the Corcoran Board of Trustees, and the other bean counters of this sorry saga.

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