May
31

Today in Smithsonian History: May 31, 1966

Exterior of Renwick Gallery, 19th century

Stereoscopic view of the exterior of the original Corcoran Gallery of Art designed by architect, James Renwick, Jr., and erected between 1859 and 1861 for William Wilson Corcoran’s collecton of paintings and sculpture. Statues by Moses Ezekiel are visible in niches along the south facade. The statues were installed in 1884, but were sold off the building in 1901. (Image created by J.F. Jarvis, ca. 1880s)

May 31, 1966 The Court of Claims Building is turned over to the Smithsonian Institution. (P.L. 89-435). The building served as the first Corcoran Gallery of Art and was designed by architect James Renwick, Jr., who also designed the Smithsonian Institution Building. In 1972, the National Collection of Fine Arts, now the Smithsonian American Art Museum, acquired the additional gallery space and the building was renamed the Renwick Gallery of Art.

Building exterior

The Renwick Gallery reopened to the public in November 2015 after an extensive renovation. (Photo by Ron Blunt)

A rug by Odile Decq graces the stairs to the Nancy Brown Negley Hall at the renovated Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian's American Art Museum. (Photo by Ron Blunt)

A rug by Odile Decq graces the stairs to the Nancy Brown Negley Hall at the renovated Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian’s American Art Museum. (Photo by Ron Blunt)

The Octogan Room with a chandelier by Dale Chihuly and Hiram Powers' "The Greek Slave" in the renovated Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian's American Art Museum. (Photo by Ron Blunt)

The Octogan Room with a chandelier by Dale Chihuly and Hiram Powers’ “The Greek Slave” in the renovated Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian’s American Art Museum. (Photo by Ron Blunt)

The new palette and gilding in the interior of the renovated Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian's American Art Museum. (Photo by Ron Blunt)

Detail of the new palette and gilding in the interior of the renovated Renwick Gallery, Smithsonian’s American Art Museum. (Photo by Ron Blunt)

Leo Villareal, Volume (Renwick), 2015 Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum © Leo Villareal, courtesy CONNERSMITH Photos by Ron Blunt

Leo Villareal, Volume (Renwick), 2015
Renwick Gallery of the Smithsonian American Art Museum
© Leo Villareal, courtesy CONNERSMITH
Photos by Ron Blunt

Courtesy of Smithsonian Institution Archives


Posted: 31 May 2017
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