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W.W. Corcoran

W.W. Corcoran
Alternate Title
William Wilson Corcoran
H. B. Hall and Sons, 1850-1884
William Wilson Corcoran, 27 Dec 1798 - 24 Feb 1888
c. 1882
Engraving on paper
Image: 18 × 13 cm (7 1/16 × 5 1/8")
Sheet (overall): 26.7 × 17 cm (10 1/2 × 6 11/16")
Mat (overall): 45.7 × 35.6 cm (18 × 14")
Costume\Jewelry\Pin\Tie pin
Personal Attribute\Facial Hair\Mustache
William Wilson Corcoran: Male
William Wilson Corcoran: Business and Finance\Businessperson\Banker
William Wilson Corcoran: Visual Arts\Founder\Art Museum
William Wilson Corcoran: Visual Arts\Art Collector
William Wilson Corcoran: Society and Social Change\Philanthropist
United States\New York\Kings\New York
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; Gift from the Trustees of the Corcoran Gallery of Art (Gift of Elsia B. Carroll) The Corcoran Gallery of Art, one of the country’s first private museums, was established in 1869 to promote art and American genius. In 2014 the Works from the Corcoran Collection were distributed to institutions in Washington, D.C.
Restrictions & Rights
Object number
Exhibition Label
Born Washington, D.C.
The banker, philanthropist, and art collector William Wilson Corcoran established deep roots in Washington, D.C. The son of an Irish immigrant who operated a leather business in Georgetown, he attended Georgetown College (now Georgetown University) and later became a clerk at the Georgetown branch of the Bank of Columbia and a manager at the Bank of the United States. In 1840, Corcoran co-founded the private banking firm Corcoran and Riggs with his partner George Washington Riggs. In addition to the bank’s success, profits from the sale of U.S. Treasury Mexican War bonds enabled Corcoran to retire in 1854 at the age of fifty-six.
While continuing to pursue investments, he devoted much of his energy to art patronage and philanthropy. Although best remembered for founding the art gallery that bore his name, Corcoran was also a major benefactor of the Oak Hill Cemetery, George Washington University, Mount Vernon, and other area institutions.
Nacido en Washington D.C.
El banquero, filántropo y coleccionista de arte William Wilson Corcoran tenía raíces profundas en Washington D.C. Hijo de un inmigrante irlandés que comerciaba pieles en Georgetown, Corcoran estudió en Georgetown College (hoy Universidad de Georgetown). Más tarde fue empleado del Banco de Columbia en Georgetown y gerente del Banco de Estados Unidos. En 1840 cofundó la firma de banca privada Corcoran and Riggs con su socio George Washington Riggs.
Gracias al éxito del banco y las ganancias de la venta de bonos del Tesoro de EE.UU. emitidos para la Guerra Mexicano-Estadounidense, Corcoran pudo retirarse en 1854, a los 56 años de edad.
Aunque siguió trabajando en inversiones, dedicó gran parte de su energía al mecenazgo y la filantropía. Se le recuerda sobre todo por haber fundado la galería que llevó su nombre, pero fue también un benefactor importante del Cementerio de Oak Hill, la Universidad George Washington, Mount Vernon y otras instituciones del área.
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery
Recent Acquisitions: Gifts from the Corcoran Gallery of Art
On View
NPG, North Gallery 140