Will the Rose Museum of Art at Brandeis University close this spring? Will the artwork owned by the university be sold or auctioned? Will the building be converted to an exhibition gallery? Your guess is as good as ours.
Months of turmoil have followed the January announcement by university president Jehuda Reinharz that the school’s board had voted to close the art museum and “publicly sell the art collection.”
Since then, Reinharz has backtracked on his statements, most recently suggesting that the museum will become a “teaching and exhibition gallery” and that no works would be sold for at least two years. The museum owns more than 7,000 works, including pieces by Jasper Johns, Andy Warhol and Willem de Kooning.
Even the museum’s staff has staged their own subtle protest, posting on their webpage a wide range of statements from national cultural leaders who oppose the closure, letters from concerned alumni and friends, and links to a petition to ask the university to change their plans. Staff expected the museum to remain open through May.