I'm sorry to have to answer in the negative, but please don't shoot
the messenger, and keep in mind that researchers earn their 75% of
the question price for performing the research, no matter what the
outcome may be.
That said, this carefully-tailored search rules out art rental
programs in other locations (and quickly locates your unanswered
question on Yahoo Answers), but turns up no evidence of such a
program currently in the D.C. area (my home town, by the way):
"art rental" "washington, d.c." gallery OR museum -chicago -lacma
-"san francisco" -victoria -ottawa -indianapolis -"los angeles"
Digging through the results of a less restrictive search:
"art rental" dc -"san francisco"
I was able to locate references such as this one on Artline:
"1972 Corcoran Gallery (Sales and Rental), Washington, DC"
And this one, from Joan Rettalack's publications page at the
University at Buffalo:
"The Corcoran Gallery of Art, Corcoran Art Rental and Sales Gallery,
(Represented Retallack's work from 1971 to its closing in 1973.)"
Searching for the Corcoran Gallery site and then doing a sub-search
of the site for the word 'rental':
I was able to see that the Corcoran Gallery's archives contain
references to an Art Rental Gallery which seems to have been
active during the 60's, but a thorough search of their site
gives no indication that they have such a program active at
Another page that suggests that they once engaged in renting
artworks is this obituary for Edna Goldstein Salant in the
Brown Alumni Magazine, which notes:
"A painter and sculptor, she displayed her work at the Corcoran
Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C., where she served on the
board, and at the Smithsonian. She was a special consultant
to the National Institute of Mental Health and directed an
experimental program to train eighth-grade girls as nursery-
school aides. In 1957 she cofounded Art Rental Gallery, which
leased works of art."
The use of the past tense, "leased", suggests that the program
is no longer active. However you can always contact the staff
at Corcoran to inquire further:
Then there's the possibility that such programs exist in art
galleries that have no online presence.
If you have any questions, or you think my findings are in
error, please post a Request for Clarification.
If you're moving to D.C., I wish you the best, and you certainly
won't find the city lacking in arts and culture!