Incoming Corcoran director Paul Greenhalgh (with board chair Jeanne Ruesch present) informed staff of significant layoffs at the Corcoran yesterday. The cuts came from the curatorial department, including chief curator Jackie Serwer, traveling exhibitions director Joan Oshinsky, European art curator Laura Coyle, prints and drawings curator Eric Denker, and senior curator of education Susan Badder.
The education efforts on the museum side will now fall under Corcoran dean Christina DePaul. Corc senior curator of photography and media arts Philip Brookman will serve as chief curator at least until at least June 1.
Greenhalgh presented the cuts to staff as financially necessary and spoke of bringing populist shows to the Corcoran in the future in an effort to bring visitors back to the museum. Staff morale is low and staff has been asked to volunteer at events related to the opening of the Robert Bechtle exhibit.
Greenhalgh and Ruesch's cuts continue a mass exodus of staff -- mostly at the senior level -- from the museum. Recent departures include chief financial and administrative officer Michael Roark, chief communications officer Margaret Bergen (who leaves today UPDATE 3/6: Bergen now staying), and deputy to the director Kathryn Keane.
No word yet from the Corcoran on any of this, despite repeated calls and multiple messages. More to come...