This is extremely dispiriting.
Brandeis University is home to the Rose Art Museum. Not only did the Rose provide the title for a well-known piece by John Cage (Rozart Mix), the museum is one of the great university-based collections of modern art in this country. And not only are its holdings excellent, it has long supported up-and-coming young artists thanks to a series of excellent directors.
And now, Brandeis is going to whole-scale shut the place down. Sell off all the art, turn the building into something else. All because the school is facing a $10 million budget shortfall.
Taylor Green has more. (God love the man, he is often annoying, but he does outrage better than most.)
I actually have a degree from Brandeis, a quickie one-year MA. So I know firsthand about the school's tremendous artistic heritage, and also how the school in recent years has seemed determined to destroy that heritage. If you think this move is just a last-ditch response to the economic meltdown, know that the school has also for years been trying to push the Music department's much-vaunted composition program--home over the years to Aaron Copland, Leonard Bernstein, and many other greats--over the brink into extinction. And now this. One could be forgiven for thinking there is conspiracy at work.
What particularly strikes me is the short-sightedness. By all accounts, the museum is financially self-sufficient, not costing Brandeis a dime to operate beyond heating the building. What are they going to do, sell off a major asset or two every year until the school is either solvent or gone?
ETA: Also, this had better not be a publicity ploy on the part of the board of trustees--you know, announce the closure, watch fundraising pour in, then call it off. I wouldn't put it past them.
2 days ago