posted by Christopher Howard — Feb 06, 2009
News about the closing of the Rose Art Museum at Brandeis University and the selling of its collection slowed down this week, but not without several highlights. Brandeis President Jehuda Reinharz issued a formal apology—not for the decision to dismantle the museum’s collection but rather for his mishandling the announcement to do so. He also regretted leaving out the Brandeis community in the board of trustees’ deliberations.
Michael Rush, director of the Rose, posted his statement on the closing and sale directly to his museum’s website this week. The university’s Department of Fine Arts also joined the chorus of protest voices, issuing a statement to all university faculty, students, alumni, and friends of the department. Also, the New York Times condemned the Brandeis decision in an article by Roberta Smith and in an unsigned editorial.
Jeff Gilbride of the Daily News Tribune in Waltham, Massachusetts, was at the “funeral march” held this week by Brandeis students as an “emotional and rowdy counterpart” to last week’s sit-in at the museum. Relatedly, Jeff Weistein from Obit wonders, “Can a Museum Die?”
Greg Cook reviews the current exhibition at the Rose, Hans Hoffmann: Circa 1950, for the Boston Phoenix, and Daniel Grant considers donor responses and restrictions on gifts in his article “Is the University’s Museum Just a Rose to Be Plucked?” for the Wall Street Journal.
The Rose Art Museum website is chronicling the press on the closing and sale. Laurie Fendrich has been passionately following the story in the Chronicle Review, the blog of the Chronicle of Higher Education. And, of course, the Boston Globe has been leading the charge with daily reports.