After the Civil War, Corcoran returned to Washington and pressed for the return of the art gallery, which was returned to his control on May 10, 1869. Corcoran immediately established a board of Trustees, and in 1870 the gallery was chartered by an act of Congress. After an extensive restoration, the gallery opened to the public on January 19, 1874. The collection quickly outgrew its building, however, and in 1897, the gallery moved to a larger building on 17th Street where it remains today. The Federal government first rented and then purchased the old gallery for use by the U.S. Court of Claims which occupied the building from 1899 to 1964. In 1965 S. Dillon Ripley, Secretary of the Smithsonian, met with President Johnson and requested that the building be turned over to the Smithsonian for use as a gallery of art, crafts and design. Restoration of the building for the Smithsonian began in 1967, and the building reopened as the Renwick Gallery in 1972.
The Renwick Gallery is located at the corner of 17 St.
and Pennsylvania Ave., NW. The Renwick is open every day of the year, except December
25th, from 10:00 am to 5:30 pm. Extended summer hours are determined annually. Metro stop: McPherson Square