Wednesday, January 28, 2009

The Brandeis-Rose scandal

In case you missed the urgent situation at Bradeis: Brandeis University has a projected annual budget shortfall of $10 million and is using that as cause to liquidate the entire collection at the Rose Art Museum?!!

Tyler Green on what is happening:
Yesterday, while perusing the website of a particularly well-respected newspaper, I saw that it said Brandeis was "forced" to sell its art museum's art collection because of a financial crisis. (The newspaper quickly came to its senses and changed its reference.) It reminded me that loose phraseology and blurry explanations of what's going on at Brandeis are effectively part of the problem. So to be clear: Brandeis is not forced to do anything. So far as we know, the university is not on the cusp of failure, insolvency or closing. It is not in danger of lacking the resources to care for the art in the Rose Art Museum. (As, say, Fisk University plainly was.) Part of the problem with the word and the conceit behind it is that it accepts this as natural and sensible: If the university is facing a declining endowment and a surfeit of donations, well then of course it would close its art museum and sell the art. Hogwash. It is no more logical that a university sell off the art in its art museum than it is logical that a university would sell the trees off this quad, the books out of its library, or the science labs in its engineering buildings.
Is this some kind of canary in the coalmine? A perverse and cynical move to cover some hidden financial gamble? Unethical for sure, perhaps illegal? Winkleman has more to say with additional links. A Facebook group has been created - Save the Rose Museum.

In closing here is the mission statement of the Rose Art Museum.
Mission Statement of The Rose Art Museum:

Founded in 1961, The Rose Art Museum of Brandeis University is an educational and cultural institution dedicated to collecting, preserving and exhibiting the finest of modern and contemporary art. The programs of the Rose adhere to the overall mission of the University, embracing its values of academic excellence, social justice, and freedom of expression.

An active participant in the academic, cultural, and social life of Brandeis, the Rose seeks to stimulate public awareness and disseminate knowledge of modern and contemporary art to enrich educational, cultural, and artistic communities regionally, nationally, and internationally. The Rose affirms the principle that knowledge of the past informs an understanding of the present and provides the critical foundation for shaping the future. It promotes learning and understanding of the evolving meanings, ideas, and forms of visual art relevant to contemporary society.


No comments: