Paul Greenhalgh resigned today as director of the Corcoran Gallery of Art, WaPo reported earlier this afternoon. His last day in that role is Tuesday, but he’ll stay on board for the next five months as artistic director and will remain an adjunct curator of European arts. Greenhalgh joined the Corcoran from the Victoria and Albert Museum in London in 2006 during a fraught time for the museum, and his tenure saw several important, challenging marquee exhibitions, as well as some real-estate-related foibles. DCist’s Kriston Capps has an excellent assessment of Greenhalgh’s directorship:
Over the course of his tenure, Greenhalgh kick-started the Corcoran’s renovation campaign, the first phase of which ended in March. At the same time, the museum made some missteps in real estate. The Corc purchased the long-closed Randall School at Half and I Streets in Southwest in 2006, announcing plans to open a third campus in order to meet booming enrollment. But the global financial crisis and subsequent wipe-out of Lehman Brothers left the Corcoran without a developer. Earlier this year, the Corcoran sold the building (to art collectors and Capitol Skyline Hotel owners Don and Mera Rubell).
Capps writes that over the last four years, the Corcoran has seen attendance at its college rise and deep staff cuts in the college and gallery. According to the Washington Post, the Corcoran will end this fiscal year with a $4 million deficit. Fred Bollerer will serve as the Corcoran’s interim director while the institution searches for a new leader. Come November, Greenhalgh will return to his native England, where he’ll lead the Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts at the University of East Anglia.